Violet Blackburn obituary (1931 – 2021) – Charlotte, North Carolina

Violet L. “Kate” Blackburn
January 14, 1931 – November 26, 2021
Charlotte, NC – Violet Blackburn passed away at the home on November 26, 2021. Her parents, Lawrence and Elizabeth Livingston, called her Violet, and she was well known by that name among nursing professionals for many decades. in her adopted hometown of Charlotte, NC. Later in life, however, she decided that she wanted a name as strong as her, and she chose “Kate”. She had a gentle mind and was notoriously gentle, but strong-minded and very intelligent; everyone who loved her learned to listen carefully when Kate spoke. Tall, slim, graceful and striking, Kate’s presence has never gone unnoticed.
Kate was an amazing nurse and nurse manager, working locally for decades, teaching and mentoring countless others along the way. She was passionate about her profession and her expertise covered several specialties. Her fundamentals were solid, but she constantly mastered new techniques and technologies. The only aspect of her career that she has mismanaged has been retirement – taking at least three races before being successful.
Kate valued education and, despite limited resources, managed to get a registered nurse education, and went on to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree. In addition, she made sure that her children who wanted to pursue higher education did so. A voracious reader, she belonged to two book clubs, but had no taste for fiction. Her creative and problem-solving skills have made her an excellent potter and an extraordinary gardener. Her flowers and vegetables were beautiful and she could name any birds that came to take the bounty. She loved the outdoors, and especially the coast, where her favorite indulgence was oysters. An avid traveler, Kate embarked on a solo trip across the United States in her 60s and took trips to Europe in her 70s and 80s! She made many fond memories while traveling with friends to dozens of destinations.
She paid great attention to politics and was a reliable donor and volunteer for women’s rights and social justice for the marginalized. An avid supporter of women’s athletics and a high school basketball player, she loved games of all types and enjoyed playing golf.
Kate is survived by her 25-year-old partner, Sue DuChanois, who took care of her as her health declined with her daughter, Leah Blackburn. The other family includes daughter Valerie Smith and grandson Ian; her son Barret Blackburn (Dawn) and granddaughter Hannah; and his son Forest Blackburn. She is also survived by her sister Daisy Walters and her brothers Wayne (Mary Ruth) and Dan (Gayle) Livingston.
Friends who wish to donate in honor of Violet are encouraged to consider the Carter Center, the Natural Resources Defense Fund, or the National Museum for Women in the Arts.
A memorial service for Kate will be held on her birthday, January 14, 2022 at the Chapel of Tribute and Tallent Funeral Home, 1937 N. Sharon Amity Rd., Charlotte, NC 28205 at 2:30 p.m. Condolences and memories can be posted at

Posted by Charlotte Observer on December 12, 2021.

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