Blackerby celebrates 95 years

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 1, 2009

Andrew Jackson (Bill) Blackerby will turn 95 years old on March 3.

He was born in Chelsea where he lived most of his life. His family had a couple of lumber mills. He helped build the first Chelsea Church of God, where it is still in use today.

As was most young men, he was in World War II. He then returned home to marry the late Mary Faye Mills. They were married 47 years. He attended Lee College in Tennessee and had two daughters, Betty Blackerby Stinson and the late Judy Blackerby Thornton.

After completing college, the Blackerbys returned to Chelsea and had two more children, Darlene Blackerby Killingsworth and the late Jeff Blackerby.

Then in 1973, the family moved to Thorsby. He became a member of the Jemison Church of God where he is one of the oldest members still living. As a truck driver, he drove across the United States hauling lumber for a living, but he is best known on Rebecca Drive for his tomatoes, not orange but red.

Bill’s recipe for life is the following:

Being a Christian.

Eating three meals a day.

Walking a mile a day.

No smoking or drinking.

His family, which consists of two daughters, eight grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, will all celebrate his birthday today at 1 p.m. at his daughter’s home in Jemison.