Fernande “Ferdie” Blackburn, age 91, of Peterborough, NH, passed away on Nov. 15, at Summerhill Assisted Living.
Ferdie was born to Emilia and Virgil Portugal in Pawtucket, RI , Oct. 16, 1926. Eventually, her family settled in Manhasset. She attended the Latin Institute in New York City becoming proficient in several languages working as a translator on the 77th floor of the Empire State Building for Rockwell International.
She met and married her husband of forty-seven years, Royce Blackburn, one of the famous “Blackburn Twins”, a well-known song and dance duo performing in film, television, stage and nightclubs. They had two children. After twenty years in Port Washington, New York, where she worked as supervisor in the medical records department at St. Francis Hospital and Assistant Director of medical records at North Shore Hospital, Ferdie moved to New Ipswich, New Hampshire. She and her husband opened and ran the New Ipswich Racquet Club for another twenty years. During that time, she worked in administration for Teleflex Corporation, Yankee Magazine, Assistant to Walter Peterson, Former Governor of New Hampshire, at Franklin Pierce College, as well as several local businesses.
Growing up in a family of good cooks, and a wonderful cook herself, Ferdie, wrote and published two cookbooks, “Chicken Only, Only Chicken”, and the “Chicken Gourmet.”
After the passing of her husband in 1994, she moved to Southbury, Connecticut where she lived for thirteen years, returning to Peterborough, New Hampshire in 2013.
Her son, Gregory and wife Margaret, and her daughter, Robin and husband Richard Ellis, survive Ferdie. In addition, three grand children: Jason and Kristen Blackburn, Sarah Dowsett, and Siobhan and Joseph Benham, together with eleven great grandchildren. She also leaves behind her sister, Irene Alonso, and her three children.
Well-read, well-traveled and well-loved, Ferdie’s life was full.
She leaves behind cherished memories for all those whose lives she touched.
A memorial for family and friends is planned for the Spring. Contributions in Ferdie’s name can be made to: Healthy Humor,
17 State St., Suite 4000, NY NY 10004. (www.healthyhumorinc.org). This is a non-for-profit organization that sends trained entertainers to visit the elderly and those challenged with Dementia bringing moments of smiles, laughter and happiness.