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Memorial Could Be Held Next Month For Former Wakulla Sheriff's Office Spokesman

Wakulla County Sheriff's office

A memorial for a former member of the Wakulla County Sheriff’s office is tentatively planned for next month. Sheriff Charlie Creel is remembering his former spokesman Keith Blackmar, who recently passed away.

On Tuesday, Wakulla County Sheriff Charlie Creel announced that his Public Information officer Keith Blackmar had succumbed to terminal cancer, he’d been battling for at least a month.

A former veteran journalist, Blackmar later worked for the Sheriff’s office for more than six years.

Creel says just last week, he’d just celebrated the 56-year-old’s birthday, and he’s glad he got that chance to be with Blackmar.

Still, he adds he’s saddened by the loss of his friend and co-worker.

“Keith was a great guy,” said Creel. “I’ve never heard him say a harsh word about anybody. Everybody loved Keith. He was very, very even-tempered. I’ve never saw him lose his temper. I never saw him get frustrated. He was always even-keeled. He was a hard worker. He never turned down phone calls when people would call him. He always answered his cell phone, no matter who called him.”

Creel also remembers Blackmar, a Boston native, as a Disney enthusiast.

“His house was decorated with Disney stuff,” he added. “His office was decorated with Disney stuff. He just got back from going to Disney a few months back. And, I asked him. I said, ‘Keith, how many times have you been to Disneyland in California?’ And, he said, ‘Three.’ I asked, ‘how many times have you been to Disney world in Orlando? He said, ‘I couldn’t tell you.’ He always loved Disney.”

Creel says the department is in the planning stages for a memorial, but is waiting until all his family can be there.

“His brother and his nephew are overseas in the Philippines,” he continued. “So, they return on June 3rd, and after that we’ll [have the memorial]…well, before they get back, we’ll have a date planned for a memorial service. And, I’m sure we’ll have to get a venue that’s large enough because there’s going to be a lot of people there.”

Blackmar leaves behind a fiancée and a daughter from a previous marriage.

For more news updates, follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter: @SaschaCordner.

Sascha Cordner has more than ten years of public radio experience. It includes working at NPR member station WUFT-FM in Gainesville for several years. She's worked in both radio and TV, serving in various capacities as a reporter, producer and anchor. She's also a graduate of the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in telecommunications. She is the recipient of 15 awards from the Associated Press, Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and Edward R. Murrow. Her award-winning stories include her coverage on the infamous “Dozier School for Boys” and a feature titled "Male Breast Cancer: Lost in the Sea of Pink." Currently, Sascha serves as the host and producer of local and state news content for the afternoon news program "All Things Considered" at WFSU. Sascha primarily covers criminal justice and social services issues. When she's not reporting, Sascha likes catching up on her favorite TV shows, singing and reading. Follow Sascha Cordner on Twitter:@SaschaCordner.