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Miriam Blackburn passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, March 9, 2023, surrounded by her children. Miriam Shirley Foreman was born on May 5, 1936, on her mother's birthday, to Allen and Mildred (Tompkins) Foreman in Hannibal, MO. She grew up on the family farm near Rensselaer, MO. After graduating from Monroe City High School, she attended Central Methodist College, where she met her future husband, James D. Blackburn. They were married on January 26, 1957, shortly after their graduation.
A lifelong Presbyterian, Miriam first attended Big Creek Presbyterian Church in Rensselaer and later the Troy Presbyterian Church in Troy, MO. After moving to Birmingham, AL, she joined Second Presbyterian Church, where she was a member for nearly half a century. Miriam had a beautiful voice and enjoyed singing in the choir and performing solos for weddings and other events. She also took great pleasure in growing her own flowers to arrange for church services and events.
Miriam was a dedicated educator and taught high school English and Spanish to generations of students in Missouri, North Carolina, and Alabama over the course of her long career. She was among the staff of Pelham High School when it opened in 1974 and taught there until her retirement. In addition to her work in schools, she instructed her children in cooking, sewing, and gardening, all skills in which she excelled. In later years, she volunteered teaching English language skills to nonnative speakers.
Miriam is survived by her four children, Joni (David Sandlin), Mary Anne, James Martin, and John (Joy McPeters Blackburn), as well as two grandchildren, Luke Blackburn and James Sandlin. Also surviving are her sisters Rebecca McElroy (John) and Betty Ann Hays (Keith), of Monroe City, MO, and a brother, David Foreman, of Little Rock, AR. Miriam's husband of 65 years, Jim, predeceased her in November 2021. Her brother Gerald Foreman also predeceased her. The family extends special appreciation to her caregivers from Home Instead, especially Terresita McGee, Shelia Ward, and Margo Kirkland, who helped make her final years happy and comfortable
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