February 1, 1949- March 15, 2020
Blaine Davis Backman was born in St. Cloud, Minnesota February 1, 1949 to Melvin and Eunice (Davis) Backman, the sixth of seven children.
After his father’s death in 1951, his mother moved the family to Moose Hart in Aurora, Illinois. While living at Moose Hart during his formative years, Blaine enjoyed milking the cows and working in the dairy barns, which served him well during his high school years when he worked on a Grade A dairy farm in the Chain Of Lakes area.
Upon graduating from Antioch Community High School in 1967, Blaine was drafted into the Air Force, proudly claiming that this was the only lottery he ever won. He served during the Vietnam War in Cameron Bay as an aircraft mechanic performing crash recovery duties in the jungle. While the war was serious business, Blaine and his fellow airmen found time to relax and have fun. Among the more amusing events was the mystery of an enemy flag, which went missing not once but twice. No culprit was ever located. Staff Sergeant Backman was honorably discharged from service on August 17, 1973.
Shortly after his discharge, Blaine received his A&P license in Tulsa, Oklahoma and worked for Beech Aircraft Corporation in Rockford, Illinois until 1990. During his years with Beech Aircraft Corporation, Blaine earned his Associates Degree in electronics technology at Rock Valley College in Rockford. Blaine met his future wife Barbara Hahn while attending Rock Valley College. They were married January 8, 1982. He then joined Roper Whitney Corporation and worked in the service department, first as an employee for 18 years and then as an independent contractor until his retirement in July of 2019. While working for Roper Whitney, Blaine earned his Bachelor of Science degree at Rockford College in Rockford and moved to New Mexico and built their second home. They resided in New Mexico until 2017 when they returned to the area to be near family.
Besides his work for the service department at Roper Whitney, Blaine enjoyed running, listening to the Saturday afternoon Blues on public radio, tinkering, and going out for an afternoon or evening glass of wine to socialize with friends.
Blaine was predeceased by his father, Melvin; mother, Eunice; stepfather, Louis Foltz; sister, Joanne Ramsey Askew; and brothers, Duane and Dennis Backman. Blaine is survived by his wife, Barbara; his sisters, Dee Pappas and Yvonne Backman; brother, Kenneth Backman; nieces; nephews; and great nieces.
There will be a private family gathering for the burial.
Thanks to the surgical team at Mercy Health and special thanks to the ICU nursing staff at Mercy Health for their dignified and professional treatment of Blaine.
Donations in Blaine’s name may be made to northernpublicradio.org online or by calling the station at 815-753-9000 or Mercy Health Development Foundation, 903 Mineral Point Avenue, Janesville, WI 53548. Arrangements by Anderson Funeral and Cremation Services.