Jerome Blackman, known to all of us as Jerry, earned his Ph.D. at the age of only 23 at Cornell in 1951, writing a dissertation under Harry Pollard on some problems related to the inversion of the heat equation. From 1951 to 1952 he was an associate research engineer at York Corporation, and then he joined SU, becoming an associate professor in 1960. He published 8 papers in convolutions and distributions between 1952 and 1960, and A New Approach to Unified Field Theory in 1967. Jerry directed two Ph.D. dissertations, the first one expository: Richard Jarvinen, Finite and infinite dimensional linear spaces: A comparison (1971) and Glen Castore, Holonomy preserving deformations of connections (1981). Hemmingsen noted that Jarvinen's dissertation "was published as a book, and got exceptionally fine reviews". Blackman served on the Department's Undergraduate, Graduate and Library Committees, and from 1973 to 1975 he was chair of the University's affirmative action committee. He served in the University senate from 1974 to 1978, and on the Senate's committee on instruction from 1978 to 1979. He retired in May 1988 with 35 ½ years of service.
Marie and Jerry met through mutual friends and were married in 1955. Jerry wrote in an email to me: "When Marie was young she lived in Saranac Lake since her father had TB. Both he and her mother died when she was young. The combination of those facts and the fact that every other person in Saranac Lake at that time had TB got her interested in medicine." Marie earned her medical degree at what was then called Women's Medical College in Philadelphia in 1957 [now MCP-Hannhemann University, administered by Drexel University], and then had her pediatric residency and fellowship in pediatric cardiology at Upstate. in 1988 she retired as professor of pediatrics and director (since 1976) of the Division of Pediatric Cardiology at SUNY Health Science Center at Syracuse and chief of pediatrics at Crouse Iving Memorial Hospital. At her retirement the fourth floor pediatric unit, Memorial Building of Crouse Irving Memorial, was named the Marie Blackman Pediatric Service. About 250 colleagues and friends celebrated her career at a testimonial retirement dinner.
They purchased a cutter rigged ketch of 45 feet, with an auxiliary diesel, named the Bonny Lass and sailed in the Caribbean with her. Jerry wrote in an email to me: "When we were sailing we did it for roughly 4-5 months a year and I once calculated that we spent a total of 4 years before the mast which by some literary standards was twice what was required." They sold it in 1998, and have heard from the latest owners that they are cruising the Mediterranean with it. As of 5/28/02 they had just returned from about 10 days in London where they visited museums and saw 11 plays.
Sources: Jerry's two page curriculum vitae; a brief summary in the SU Record of May 9, 1988 when Jerry retired; Central NY Medical News of July 1988 with the lead article on Marie's retirement; Jerry's answers to queries by email.
Phil Church 6/4/02.
Last updated on 9/11/02