Arthur Rankin Blackwelder, Jr. – Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force

Arthur Rankin Blackwelder Jr., 84, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who did electronic intelligence work as a civilian employee of the Defense Intelligence Agency from 1966 to 1984, died August 12, 2003, at Inova Mount Vernon Hospital. He had congestive heart failure.

Colonel Blackwelder, an Alexandria resident, was known as “A.R.” and “Blackie.” He was a native of Concord, North Carolina, and a 1958 political science graduate of the University of Maryland.

He was an Army Air Forces veteran of World War II and served in the Air Force from 1947 until he retired in 1966. He was a test pilot and flight instructor, and in his final active-duty assignment he did intelligence work at the U.S. Pacific Command at Camp Smith, Hawaii.

He was a member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Alexandria. He did volunteer work at the National Horticultural Society.

His decorations included the DIA Meritorious Civilian Service Award.

A son, Merchant Marine Capt. Arthur R. Blackwelder III, died in February.

Survivors include his wife of 54 years, Marguerite Williams Blackwelder of Alexandria; a son, Marshall Erick Blackwelder of Woodbridge; and two granddaughters.

Lt. Col., USAF (Ret.)

A Retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who was a command pilot of multi-engine aircraft died August 12, 2003 at Mt. Vernon Hospital, Alexandria, Virginia.

He was the beloved husband of 54 years of the former Marguerite Williams; father of Marshall Erik; father-in-law of Patricia; and grandfather of Leslie Page and Erin Elizabeth. His son, Arthur Rankin, III, predeceased him on February 11, 2003. He also leaves cousins and a host of wonderful friends in this and other countries. He was the son of Arthur R. Blackwelder and Della Estelle Lippard. His sister, Winifred, predeceased him.

He was born on June 14, 1919 in Concord, North Carolina. His BS from the University of Maryland, was in Political Science. He served in the Air Force 22 years with two tours of duty in Germany, one during the early days of the occupation after World War II and also one tour in Korea. He spent about 12 of his active duty years in the area of intelligence in NSA, Fort Meade, Maryland, Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon and on the Cincpac Staff in Hawaii during the Vietnam War.

After retiring in 1966, he worked in the Pentagon in various assignments within the DOD. National Intelligence Community including Air Staff and DIA. He enjoyed travel, woodworking and furniture making and gardening; with wide interests in politics and history. Flying in the Air Force was his dream come true and he was pleased that both his sons enjoyed flying as civilians.

A Memorial Service will be held at Aldersgate United Methodist Church on Tuesday, August 19 at 2 p.m. Burial with Full Military Honors at Arlington National Cemetery on September 24, 2003 at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions may be made to his memorial fund at Aldersgate UMC, 1301 Collingwood Rd., Alexandria, Virginia 22309 or to the charity of your choice.

Read our general and most popular articles

Leave a Comment