Early in the morning on Sunday, November 12, 2023, Mary Irene Casstevens Blackburn of Pilot Mountain, NC, entered the presence of Jesus with all the joy and peace of heaven awaiting. Our loss came in the dark, early morning hours, but when the sun rose, we were reminded again that the mercies of our great God are new every morning. She was the dear wife of Dennis for almost 57 years, a beloved mother and mother-in-law, and a precious grandmother.
Irene was born at home in Surry County, NC on October 20, 1944. She was the ninth of fourteen children born to John and Inize Casstevens, dear parents whom she loved and honored. She graduated from North Surry High School in 1964 and married her husband Dennis Blackburn on December 3, 1966, at Pine Ridge Baptist Church of Mt. Airy. She was the mother of three blessed children - Duane, Scott, and Karen. She was a believer in and a faithful follower of Jesus Christ and honored Him by living for others. She was a member of New Covenant Baptist Church of Mt. Airy, NC. Of the variety of jobs she held, she most enjoyed working for the Surry County Sheriff’s Department years ago as well as staying close to her children by working at four different schools they attended through the years including Woodland Baptist Christian School where she continued to serve after their schooling was complete. Her greatest occupation was working to make a beautiful and peaceful home for her family as a homemaker.
She was most content serving others by meeting their needs. In countless ways, she sought to make the lives of those around her easier. She was always a classy and beautiful lady who sought to make things around her lovely as well. She was beloved by so many because of her generosity, the many ways she cared and listened, and her tender heart of compassion. Even in difficult circumstances, she viewed others with mercy and could find something good in every situation.
She was preceded in death by her parents John and Inize (Beck) Casstevens and by her sisters Mozelle Shore and Annie Mae Holder and by her brothers Paul Casstevens, Arvil Casstevens, Rev. Jack Casstevens, Richard Casstevens, and Delmer Casstevens and other brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.
Along with her husband, Dennis Charles Blackburn, she is survived by her children and their spouses - Duane and Michelle Blackburn of Galax, VA; Scott and Kaela Blackburn of Mt. Airy, NC; and Karen and Rick Eacho of Tobaccoville, NC. She is also survived by nine grandchildren that she cherished: Bryan Blackburn and his wife Hannah, Matthew Blackburn, Andrew Blackburn and his wife Haylee, Joshua Eacho, Josiah Eacho, Hannah Blackburn, Elisabeth Eacho, Kensi Blackburn, and Luke Blackburn, and one sweet great-granddaughter Dianna Blackburn. She is also survived by her sisters and brother-in-law Malzie Beasley of Mt. Airy and Alene and Bill Cail of Mt. Airy and her brothers and sisters-in-law Bill and Billie Casstevens of Mt. Airy, Charles and Karen Casstevens of State Road, Graham and Sandra Casstevens of Elkin, and Homer and Shirley Casstevens of Mt. Airy as well as a number of dear nieces and nephews and other in-laws.
A visitation will be held at Moody Funeral Home of Mt. Airy, NC on Wednesday evening, November 15, from 6-9. Funeral services will be conducted on Thursday, November 16 at 2:00 p.m. in the chapel of Moody Funeral Home in Mt. Airy officiated by Pastor Jim Sincavage, Rev. Rick Eacho, and Rev. Brian Smith with the burial following at Whitaker’s Chapel Church Cemetery in Pilot Mountain where Irene will be buried next to her parents. The pallbearers will be her six grandsons and her nephews Neil Casstevens, Chad Casstevens, and Patrick Casstevens. Our family wishes to thank the Surry County EMS and the Surry County Sheriff’s Department for their assistance and care during our need.