Jeffery Blackmer of Albany, Indiana, made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty on Wednesday, December 20, 2017, after returning from a structure fire. Jeff was born to the late Joseph M. Blackmer and the late Shirley J. Harter. He is survived by his two children, Nicholas J. Blackmer and Kellie M. Blackmer; his grandmother, Geneva P. White; six siblings; and several nieces and nephews.
Jeffery Blackmer began his firefighting career in Wisconsin with the Helenville Fire Department, where he obtained certifications from the state of Wisconsin. After returning to Delaware County, Jeff joined the Hamilton Township Volunteer Fire Company, where he served as a firefighter for nearly a year. On December 20, 2017, Jeff passed away upon returning to the station after bravely fighting a large barn fire. Jeff was a vital part in the daily operations and a friend to all the firefighters. He will be greatly missed by the men and women of Hamilton Township. Firefighter Blackmer was posthumously awarded 2017 Firefighter of the Year.
When Jeff was in fourth grade, he had a grand mal seizure. He was later diagnosed with a seizure disorder, which had a huge impact on his desire to become a firefighter. He realized the importance of first responders because he had been personally touched by them. He knew it was their initial care that saved his life. Jeff graduated from high school, earned a degree in firefighting, and pursued his lifelong dream. He overcame many obstacles to realize his dream of being a firefighter. He refused to give up, and his persistence paid off.
Jeff was a kid at heart and selfless to the core. He would give strangers the shirt off his back if they needed it and in the next breath he would try to make them laugh. He loved life. He loved his family. He loved firefighting. For Jeff, that was everything. That was what he wanted in life, and he made his dreams come true.
No matter how long you knew Jeff—whether you were his best friend since junior high, his sibling, a fellow fireman, or a homeless man on the street—he loved you with his whole heart for exactly who you were, at the exact moment he knew you. He took us all and loved us deeply, with all our flaws and imperfections. He didn’t love us DESPITE our imperfections, but he loved our flaws JUST as much.