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Lena Jo was born January 17, 1922 in Fort Worth, the daughter of Madell Guiff Roberts and Joe Bob Roberts. Jo grew up in Fort Worth, living with her family for a brief period in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Polytechnic High School in Fort Worth in 1939, where she met the love of her life, Charles C. "Charlie" Blackwell. Because of her great dancing talent, high school friends nicknamed her "Leapin' Lena". Charlie joined the Navy for the duration of World War II, through which he and Jo corresponded and saw each other when possible. They were married in her parent's home on March 8, 1947. She was a devoted and loving mother and her family was her pride and joy.
Jo and Charlie developed an interest and passion together in antiques before his retirement, after which they travelled many states together attending antique shows. She was a wealth of knowledge on the subject and was a member of the American Antique Dealers association. After Charlie's untimely passing in 1988, Jo continued with her learning and interest in antiques by maintaining a beautiful booth at a local antique mall. In later years as her health declined, her dear friend Terry Fish, whom she referred to as her "illegitimate son", inspired her to remain active in the business. Jo had many friends within and beyond the antique world, and their sadness at her passing bears testimony to her kind and loving heart.
Jo had a life-long faith in God and existence beyond this earthly one. In past months, she had recurring dreams of Charlie and said recently that she was ready to go and be with him. Always her great sense of humor would amaze those close to her, right up until her passing. Jo loved all animals and was especially fond of cats and dogs.
She is preceded in death by her husband of 41 years, Charles Blackwell; brother, Leonard F. Roberts, who passed away a week before her; and by her niece, Bobbie Nelle Roberts Crum.
Jo is survived by her sons, Jay Blackwell of Fort Worth and Carey Blackwell of Witter, Ark.; sister, Maureen Lay of Fort Worth; grandson, Jayson Blackwell of Westerly, R.I.; nieces, Billie Dorris and Len Baird of Fort Worth; and nephew, Chris Lay of Arlington, Va.; great-grandchildren, Tori, Kyle and Lacie Blackwell; also many great and great-great nieces and nephews.