Obituary of Erma M. Blackwood
Erma Marion Shelmandine Blackwood gained her angel wings on February 2, 2024, at the age of 86. She was the kindest and sweetest soul you could ever meet.
Born on October 25, 1937, she was the oldest daughter of the late Adelbert and Bertha Shelmandine. Erma attended Amsterdam High School and it was there that she met the love of her life, Lester A. Blackwood, Sr. Lester and Erma married on November 5, 1955, and settled in Johnstown where they created a beautiful family and raised 9 children, eight boys and one girl. As Lester was an over the road truck driver, Erma spent most of her years taking care of their children and the many friends that called the Blackwood household their second home. Married for almost 40 years, Erma and Lester shared a lifetime of memories until Lester’s passing in 1995.
Once her children reached their teenage years, Erma went to work at Knox Gelatin and continued working there until the business closed. She spent her last years of employment working as the private housekeeper for the Cole Family, owners of Cole’s Furniture in Johnstown, retiring at the age of 70. In 2009, Erma and lifelong friend Eugene “Sweetie” Krohn found comfort in each other after losing both their spouses. They continued to support and care for each other until Sweetie’s passing in 2014.
Erma enjoyed everything involving her family from weekly card nights, any family gatherings especially the annual Shelmandine and Blackwood family reunions, Thanksgiving dinners with the aunts, uncles, and cousins, family vacations including her bucket list trip to California, and the many Sunday afternoon car rides almost always ending in a stop for an ice cream cone.
Not only was Erma a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt, and friend to many but most importantly she was a wonderful human being. She loved with her whole heart and was always ready to lend a helping hand, share some words of wisdom, be a shoulder to cry on, or just simply give an everything will be okay hug and you knew it would be just that, okay. Erma was never one to sit still for long, always pitching in with any chore that needed to be done as she always believed “many hands make light work”. She was also very appreciative of the good fortunes in her life and got through the toughest of times in her life with faith and strength far beyond her petite physical stature.
In addition to her parents, husband Lester, and companion Gene, Erma was predeceased by her two brothers Adelbert and Alan Shelmandine, two of her sons Christopher “Chris” Blackwood and Keith Blackwood, Sr., her daughter-in-law Kelly Blackwood and her granddaughter Jacqueline Blackwood.
Erma’s legacy will live on in her seven surviving children, Lester Blackwood, Jr. (Ann), Duane Blackwood, Randolph “Randy” Blackwood (Carol), William “Billy” Blackwood (Starlette), Timothy “Timmy” Blackwood, Wendy Suchy (Michael), David Blackwood (Diane), 27 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren along with her sister Charlotte Santo (Corey), sisters-in-law Julia (Blackwood) Barclay and Beverly (Blackwood) Blowers, many nieces, nephews, extended family members, and friends that are considered family, especially her longtime friend Peg Nare.
Family and friends are invited and may call on Wednesday, February 7th, from 11am to 1pm, with a funeral service to immediately follow, at Betz, Rossi, Bellinger & Stewart Family Funeral Homes, 51 Fremont Street, Gloversville. Following the funeral service, Erma will be laid to rest beside her husband Lester at Evergreen Cemetery, 296 Martin Road, Fonda, NY 12068. Immediately following interment at the cemetery, the family invites everyone to share their favorite stories/memories and celebrate the life of Erma at Berkshire Fire District, 320 Steele Ave Ext, Gloversville, NY 12078.
Memorial contributions may be made in Erma’s name to the Dementia Society of America (dementiasociety.org) or Alzheimer’s Association (alz.org).To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Erma Blackwood, please visit Tribute Store