Samuel Byron Blackburn, also known as "Wookie," age 37, of Herring Loop in Boone, arrived at his heavenly home on Tuesday, December 7, 2021. Samuel is survived by his parents, Caroline Hicks Blackburn and Michael Blackburn, by his brother, Isaac Blackburn and wife Suzanne, his nephew Elliott and niece Violet. Also surviving is his grandmother, Suzanne Tilson; step grandmother, Sandra Deal; aunts and uncles Cindy and Bill Gore, Rebecca and Stephan Lapping, David Blackburn, Lula and Tom Lawrence, Lois and Larry Hicks, Joe and Diane Tilson, Larry Tilson and Joe Craig, Jeff and Lisa Tilson, and many cousins. Sam loved getting together with all his family. Sam was predeceased by his nephew, Kenneth Oliver Blackburn, an uncle, Perry Hicks; grandparents Henry and Louvenia Hicks, Charles Blackburn, and Hugh Tilson.
Sam was born with 22q11.2 deletion, a genetic syndrome that affects the development of nearly every system of the body, He was instrumental in starting the NC 22q11 Support Group. A member of Presnell's Chapel Primitive Baptist Church, Sam is now where he has no pain, a new body, and he can have that conversation with Jesus he often spoke of. Despite his handicaps, Sam loved to make pen and ink drawings, and spent many hours in his recording studio making electronic music and playing his guitars, keyboard and bass. He loved Carolina Hurricanes hockey, enjoyed golfing, loved getting his Wookie Latte at his favorite coffee shop and going to restaurants where he could be seen drawing pictures of cities, animals and people in his unique style. Sam would greet everyone walking by with a friendly "hello."
Many people over the years went out of their way to be friends with Samuel, but in particular Sam's family wants to recognize Floyd Benfield, Jeshua and Bella Barlowe, Elder John Jackson, Chelsey Prevette, Griffin Erickson, Carrie Childers, Jeremy Bollman, Jordan Smith, Curtis Varner, and Thomas Simmons for being his friends. Dr. Vandana Shashi of Duke University Medical Center Genetics was always there to help Sam through many of his problems. Bayada Home Health Care of Hickory provided Sam with exceptional services. Sam's cousin Jackie Soto did a great job in keeping his prescriptions straight at Boone Drug Greenway.
There will be no public service at this time, but the family plans a Celebration of Samuel's life this coming spring. They respectfully request no food and no flowers, but memorial donations
may be made to: Presnell's Chapel PBC, c/o Elder John Jackson, 1103 Tom Jackson RD, Boone NC 28607
DUMC Children's Medical Genetics at this link, https://www.gifts.duke.edu/dch?designation=3914874&technique_code=DCDJDPGR,