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Whitfield Funeral Home
Little Davenport
Hamilton Mill

Reuben Black

Obituary Date: Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Reuben Black passed away July 1, 2020, from complications of Dementia.

He was 83. Reuben was born on September 10, 1936 to J.D. and Theo Godfrey Black in New Holland, GA and grew up in Hall County, graduating from Lyman Hall High School. He attended North Georgia College where he met the love of his life, Marjorie Pinson. After graduating college he enlisted in the United States Army where he trained as a Fixed Wing Aviator, a skill that would help him land a job he loved for 34 years as a pilot for Delta Airlines. During his career he served as Chief Pilot and gained a reputation for being tough but fair and loyal to his fellow pilots. He also was instrumental in working with pilots struggling with addiction, getting them the help they needed to rehabilitate and return to flying. After retirement Delta sent him to South Korea with a team to work with Korean Airlines on cockpit management to help them improve their safety and procedural issues.

So much of Reuben’s life has been about serving other people. He was active in the scouting world, first as a scoutmaster and then as a leader with Woodbadge, adult scout training. He and Marge were active leaders of the youth program at Gainesville First Baptist and also the Johnson High School Band Boosters, where they positively influenced many young people over the years. He helped form a church whose mission was about serving the community and each other. He championed the cause of AA and made sure there was always a place for groups to meet. He and Marge brought numerous international exchange students into their home over the years, and never hesitated to take anyone in who needed a place to be.

Reuben’s greatest pleasure was spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He and Marge held Grancamp for 25 summers with activities and trips based on a different theme each year. It was a special week that allowed all the cousins to develop close relationships that remain strong today.

In the last few years, Reuben committed much of his time to working with a local non-profit, Project Dan, working with 98 different law enforcement agencies training 5,000 officers to use Narcan/Naloxone to save lives from opioid overdoses. This work was recognized with a declaration in the Georgia State Senate a few years ago.

He was a member of Athens First United Methodist Church. He loved playing tennis, working in the yard, and was an avid golfer until moving to Athens and turning his attention to caring for Marge through her battle with Parkinson’s disease and ultimately waging his own battle with Dementia.

Reuben was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of almost 62 years, Marjorie Pinson Black, brothers, Douglas Black and Horace Black, and sister and brother-in-law, Merle and Lewis Gaines. He is survived by his children, Kathy Stansell (Roger), Patti Pitts (Rob), Jeff Black (Robyn), Tim Black (Patricia), and Baris Savas (Christina), his brother, Stan Black (Janice), sisters-in-law, Gladys Black and Martha Mooney (Steve), his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

If you would like to honor his memory, consider donating to J’s Place, a community recovery support center, 1362 Juanita Avenue Gainesville, GA 30501/, or the charity of your choice.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

Memorial Park Funeral Home North Riverside Chapel, 989 Riverside Dr. is in charge of arrangements.

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Funeral Home
Memorial Park North Funeral Home Riverside Chapel
989 Riverside Drive , Gainesville, GA 30501