Alfred Blackwell was born in Emporia, Virginia on September 16th, 1944 as the youngest of three children to the late John Alfred and Della Jordan Blackwell where he was affectionately known as “Coon”. He was educated in Emporia and graduated from E. W. Wyatt High School. Upon graduation, Coon moved to Brooklyn, NY to begin his life as a young man. Shortly thereafter he was drafted into the U.S. Army and quickly rose through the ranks and earned the honor of serving as an Honor Guard at Arlington National Cemetery where he would conclude his military service.
Once Alfred returned to Brooklyn he would continue his service by joining a brotherhood like none other, the New York City Police Department. His 35 year career would begin at the 77th precinct where he met fellow officers and they would later be known as the Alamo. These officers exemplified loyalty and respect for one another and developed lifelong friendships that he cherished for 50yrs.
Detective Alfred Blackwell would ultimately retire from the 81st precinct Community Affairs Unit in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn. At the 8 1, he was responsible for directing the precinct run “Summer Recreational/Tutorial Program” which provided jobs and a safe haven for children in the community during the summer months. He was instrumental in reinstating the Police Athletic League program. He chaired community programs such as Christmas in Bed Stuy, Adopt a Block, the annual Bed Stuy clergy breakfast and the annual senior citizen Thanksgiving dinner which served over 800 seniors each year. Detective Blackwell received many awards for his dedication to the community. Among them include the N.Y.C. Police Department Model Block Builders Award, City Council Citation for exemplary service to the community, the Officer of Year Award bestowed upon him by the N.Y.C. Department for the Aging and the Mayor of NYC. He was also profiled in “The Chief” and “Daily News” after receiving a Letter of Commendation from N.Y.C. Department of Consumer Affairs.
Al Blackwell would say that he was clean in his uniform, pants creased, shoes shining when he met Elizabeth at Greenpoint Hospital in Brooklyn. They would later marry and start a family in Laurelton, NY. Together, they would raise five children, Delores, William, Dawn, Dana and Kimberly. Poppa, as he is called by his youngest, would emphasize the importance of education to his children. He also told them that everyone makes mistakes but you have to get back up, turn the page and move forward.
Al was a life member of the Fraternal Order of Police and proudly displayed the decals on all of his vehicles. He was a Lord with Top Ladies of Distinction, an avid gun collector and member of the NRA; a faithful member of St. Luke’s Cathedral and active member of Brook’s Memorial Senior Center and still the president of the Roy Wilkins Senior Dolphins.
During his retirement, Al loved to travel and would be called Brother Chief and Simba in the countries of Kenya and Tanzania. He would often speak of his traveling adventures, especially that time he had to wrestle a polar bear in Alaska, and he had the tooth to prove. When he wasn’t traveling he could be found at his Georgia home.
Al was known for a good story and one could be triggered at any time by the mere mention of the word Emporia. Even if you did not mention Emporia you were going to hear about his hometown.
Al was a straight shooter and said what he meant and meant what he said and when you left him you were not confused. He was the epitome of living life and he was always the life of the party sure to leave a lasting impression. He wanted everyone to eat, drink and have a good time when they were in his presence. He believed that if you work hard you can have the things that you want in life. He would say travel and see the world and do it first class.
Al lived life on his terms, the way he wanted to, without apology. He did it his way.
He leaves to mourn his loving and dedicated wife, Elizabeth Blackwell, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sister-in-law, uncle, nieces and nephews and a host of cousins and friends that have become family.
Relatives and Friends are encouraged to visit Mr. Blackwell's tribute wall to share memories, extend condolences and to order floral tributes, as sentiments to the family.
The Management and Staff of Knox-High Mortuary, Inc. is privileged to provide
"Distinctive Services, With The Essence Of Excellence"
to the family of Mr. Alfred 'Coon' Blackwell.
We ask that you join us in remembering the family in both thought and prayer.
"Diligent in Business; Fervent in Spirit." - Romans: 12:11
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