Blackman grew up in Sanford, N.C., and attended North Carolina State University. After graduation, he joined the Goodyear Retail Training for Management program, eventually spending a decade working in Goodyear and BFGoodrich tire stores across the state.
In 1989, Blackman founded Atlantic Avenue Tire & Service in Raleigh, N.C., along with a partner, cashing in a 401K, worth $20,000, to start the business.
A decade later, he went out on his own and founded Atlantic Tire & Service in Cary, a city of 150,000-plus in central North Carolina. His dealership grew to five locations in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina.
He supported numerous local charities and organizations, including The Salvation Army, Children's Home Society, The Caring Place, Miracle League, MacGregor Rotary Club, Atlantic Tire Tennis Championship, Cary Chamber of Commerce and several charitable golf tournaments.
Blackman told Tire Business that his parents instilled his love of giving.
"A lot of it was just being brought up believing that if you had something you need to share it," he said. "…It's the coolest thing to think that you could affect somebody's life and never know about it, and that's OK. I just wish all businesses would be a little bit more receptive to doing that."
In 2017, Blackman was honored by TIA with the Ed Wagner Leadership Award.
In addition, Blackman received several local honors, including the Cary Citizen of the Year, the city's Hometown Spirit Award and in 2021 the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, given by the governor of North Carolina to persons who have made significant contributions to the state and their communities through their exemplary service and exceptional accomplishments.
Blackman and his wife Beth would have been married 40 years in November.
Besides Beth, Blackman is survived by his son Cameron Anthony Blackman (Elizabeth); brother Mike Blackman (Joy); sisters Susan Blackman Mathews (Tim) and Cindy Blackman Biggers (Howard); two grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be held Sept. 21 at White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, N.C., at 2 p.m. A visitation and reception will follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Salvation Army of Wake County, 1863 Capital Boulevard, Raleigh, N.C. 27604.