James Ferdinand Blessen, 94, of Amarillo died Monday, December 31, 2018. Services will be at 1:00 p.m. Saturday in Anna Street Church of Christ with Gene Shelburne and Elgin Conner officiating. Interment will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery. Arrangements are by LaGrone Blackburn-Shaw Funeral Directors of Amarillo on Coulter. Family visitation will be Friday from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at the funeral home.
James, usually called Jim or Jimmie, was born November 20, 1924, to John Blessen and Hilda Seefeld Blessen in Bushland, Texas. He was graduated from Amarillo High School, where he played on an All State football team, and attended Texas Technological College. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He was a lifelong farmer and worked 37 years for Santa Fe Railroad as a fireman and locomotive engineer. He married Kathryn Johnson in Amarillo on November 4, 1952. They lived in Amarillo all their married life, where he was a member of First Baptist Church and a charter member of Anna Street Church of Christ. He was a Mason and an avid fly fisherman.
James was preceded in death by his wife, parents, and sister, Ruth Ann Gilliam. He is survived by four children, Ivon Cecil and husband David of Amarillo, Iris Atchison of Canyon, Al Blessen and wife Ida of Lubbock, Art Blessen and partner Janet Duke of Albuquerque, New Mexico; nine grandchildren, Tina Thrasher, Mindy Mendenhall, Melody Hawkins, Beau Blessen, Jake Blessen, Isaac Atchison, Joseph Atchison, Nicole Duke, and Michaela Duke; seven great-grandchildren, Brittany and Emily Thrasher, Colt Mendenhall, Cynthia and Ezekiel Hawkins, Landon and Brooke Blessen; one great-great grandson, Scout Hickman; and many nephews, nieces, and cousins.
The family suggests memorial contributions be to Christian Relief Fund, Box 19670, Amarillo, Texas 79114-1670, or a favorite charity.