On Tuesday, March 9, 2021, James Blackwood, loving son, brother, husband, father and uncle passed away at the age of 81.
Jim was born to the late Marcus and Gertrude Blackwood on December 7, 1939 in St. Louis, MO. He spend most of his early years in Paragould, AR. and later moved to North Little Rock. He began his career as Director of Weights and Measures Division for the State of Arkansas.
In 1972, he moved to Dallas where he worked for the City of Dallas in several different capacities before becoming Assistant Director, Health & Human Services Environmental Health Division. After leaving the City of Dallas, Jim became the Assistant Director of the Business and Professional Institute for Dallas County Community College District
Jim's love and passion for the game of football lead him to an officiating career that spanned more than 60 years. He began as an on field official both in Arkansas and Texas. With over 25 years of experience officiating he began his first stop on this amazing career path as Executive Director of the Texas Association of Sports Officials. Following retirement from that position he became Supervisor of Football Officials for the Southland Conference followed by Supervisor of Officials for the Western Athletic Conference, Coordinator of Replay Officials for the PAC 12 Conference and finally as CFO National Director of Instant Replay. Jim also worked for 10 years as a Replay Official for the NFL and 1 year as an ESPN Booth Referee. With his extensive knowledge of NCAA football rules, mechanics, and techniques, Jim helped develop replay manuals, training materials and videos.
He is preceded in death his parents, twin sister Janice, and nephew Kip.
Jim is survived by his wife of 23 years Dee, sons Mark Blackwood (wife Janie) and Jay Blackwood (wife Sonya), niece Julie Jackson Nichols, step-son Michael Atkins (wife Erika), niece-in-law Robin Jackson, and his first wife, GiGi Blackwood Givens.
A Celebration of Jim's Life will be held at 11:00AM on Saturday, March 20, 2021, at the Park Christian Community Church in Mesquite.