Donald Blackmond, of Dowagiac
Donald (Don) Paul Blackmond, 70, of Dowagiac, passed away Friday, Aug. 27, 2021, at Lakeland Hospital in Niles. Don was born in Niles on Dec. 19, 1950, to Stephen and Constance (Norris) Blackmond. He spent his first six years in Niles and attended Northside for kindergarten. The family moved to Dowagiac and he attended Justus Gage Elementary. He served as an acolyte for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and was a Boy Scout almost reaching the rank of Eagle Scout. While attending Dowagiac Union High School Don was involved with yearbook and the school newspaper doing a lot with photography. He played keyboard with his high school friends called The Dimensions. Also, while attending high school, he worked at Master Cabinets and worked at Lee Memorial Hospital leading to a lifelong interest in medicine and helping people. Don graduated high school in 1969 and attended Hillsdale College for a year, attended Southwestern Michigan College and earned an associate’s degree, and also attended Andrews University in Berrien Springs. While there he joined the Peace Corps and went to Guanaja, Honduras to help build a school.
Upon his return from abroad, Don returned to work at Lee Memorial Hospital with hopes of pursuing a career in medicine, but time and money were a barrier. He changed his career plans and went towards the manufacturing industry. He first worked at Foret Plastics in Niles and later Aviex. He finally landed at what would become his second home at SPI Industries in South Bend, IN. Don enjoyed the camaraderie of his coworkers and the plastics business. He learned a lot, met, and worked with many great people that lead to lifelong friendships. Don retired in January of 2019 but still kept going into work.
Throughout his life Don served his community in many ways. He was on the Niles Housing Commission while he lived in Niles, was the longest serving commodore of the Indian Lake Yacht Club in Dowagiac, and was on the Borgess Lee Memorial Foundation Board for 16 years. Since he couldn’t pursue his dream of becoming a doctor, he devoted his efforts to help raise money for the hospital he enjoyed working for in his earlier years.
On Aug. 6, 1977, he married Vicary Mumaugh at Trinity Episcopal Church in Niles. They have two daughters, Jehan Blackmond, of Holland, Michigan, and Marissa “Mari” Blackmond, of Dowagiac. Don and Vicary recently celebrated their 44th anniversary. They lived in Niles for 25 years, then moved to Dowagiac where they lived at Vicary’s ancestral Conklin sesquicentennial farm at Indian Lake. Being at the farm allowed Don and Vicary to offer their backyard for the Annual Lee Memorial Foundation Beer and Wine Tasting for the past 10 years.
Don put in very long hours at his jobs but always found time to sail on the weekends with his best friend Wayne Comstock at Indian Lake on the C Scow boat named Lorelei IL 4. They were devoted sailors for the races on Indian Lake and competed in regattas around the area. He also ran the sailboat races while serving as commodore. Don was a proud member of the Dowagiac Elks for 49 years and enjoyed seeing his friends at the Friday night dinners. He was an avid reader and loved Dowagiac history especially anything pertaining to the Round Oak Stove Company where his great-great grandfather had worked.
Don is preceded in death by his father, Stephen. He is survived by his mother, Constance Blackmond, of Niles; wife, Vicary Blackmond; daughters, Jehan and Mari Blackmond; brother, Frederick (Sherry Curtis) Blackmond, of Lansing; sister-in-law, Patty Blackmond. of Lansing; sister, Margaret (Jesse) Townsend, of Dowagiac, and sister, Kathryn (Edward) Mamaril, of Kokomo, Indiana.
In keeping with Don’s wishes there will be no visitation or funeral. Those wishing to make a memorial contribution in Don’s honor please consider the following organizations Don loved to support: Indian Lake Fire Department, c/o James Bolt, 7444 Brush Lake Road, Eau Claire, MI, 49111. The Indian Lake Yacht Club, P.O. Box 888, Dowagiac, MI 49047. The Dowagiac Elks No. 889, 300 Riverside Dr., Dowagiac, MI 49047. The Dowagiac Area History Museum, P.O. Box 430, Dowagiac, MI 49047.