Thomas “Tom” Blackwell Jr.

DARLINGTON – A gentleman who always enjoyed his home and family, Tom Blackwell passed away at his residence on Sunday, April 11, 2021. Born in Sumter on Oct. 2, 1951, he was the son of the late Thomas W. Blackwell and Maizie Blackwell Prestwich. Tom attended Southside High School in Florence where he was a baseball standout. He continued his education at Clemson University before entering his career in the furniture business. Tom pursued his interests with passion. Throughout his life, he was an avid sportsman and athlete, often finding himself coaching others. He enjoyed working with children and youth on many softball teams. In recent years, one would frequently find him on the golf course at The Darlington Country Club. Tom was not only the most enthusiastic of storytellers, but also a good listener. He was actively engaged in the interests of his many friends, caring for those he loved with a big heart. In contrast to his outgoing ways, Tom spent countless hours outdoors where he found peace and satisfaction in the natural areas he nurtured, and the colorful spaces he created. Tom is survived by his wife of 49 years, Joyce Russell Blackwell; daughter, Kim (Willie) McLawhon of Greenville, N.C.; granddaughters, Amber and Caitlyn McLawhon. Additionally, he is survived by his sister, P.J. (Barry) McGirt of Darlington; and brother-in-law, Mike (Nancy) Russell of Amherst, Va. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Kelly Michelle Blackwell; and step-father, Gordon I. Prestwich. A celebration of life was held Thursday, April 15, 2021, at Belk Funeral Home in Darlington. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The McLeod Children’s Hospital, PO Box 100551 Florence, SC 29502. A guestbook is available online at

Author: Rachel Howell

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