John Blackman J.D. ’84 was a lifelong musician, mediator, and philosopher. All of his life he had an enthusiastic love for music and rhythm, for Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, The Beatles, and Miles Davis, and for all music created and shared around the world. In his lifetime he collected and played dozens of musical instruments, attended concerts and performances, and loved discussing and sharing music with fellow musicians. From an early age he knew his charge in life was to help others; for 30 years he devoted himself as an attorney in San Mateo County, selflessly serving others while trying to achieve compromise, understanding, and harmony within the community. He worked diligently in the field of alternative dispute resolution, served as the president of the California Dispute Resolution Council, and was one of the founding members of the San Mateo County Multi-Option ADR Project (“M.A.P.”) He served as president of the San Mateo County Bar Association, received the James Dennis Memorial Award for his dedication to justice, and was admired and loved by colleagues not only in California but throughout the entire country. He was many things: a loving husband and father, a passionate Bay Area sports fan, lover of orchids and gardens, and even a philosopher and writer. A scholar of religious studies and believer in the possibility of balance in the universe, John sought to improve life for everyone through his career, his teachings, and his actions. John died on Nov. 28, 2016, surrounded by his family in his Foster City home. He had been living with liver cancer the last three years of his life but he was adamant that, in his words, he did not “battle” his cancer. Instead he tried to understand it, live with it, and be at peace with it and his body. His early death leaves an inconsolable void in the hearts of all that knew him. With his passing, the world lost a true disciple of world peace and compassionate understanding. Much of his writing and music he left for us can be found on his website, johnsomersblackman.com. John was passionately spiritual and a believer that true health can only be received, never imposed. He felt that it is up to the individual to find the balance in the world between our minds and our bodies. He dedicated his life, his heart, and his entire soul to this pursuit. He is survived by his wife, Victoria, and his two children, Jeremy and Miranda, along with his three sisters, Maria Gero (Andy), Karen Maskel (Steve), and Joann Blackman, and many nieces and nephews.

08 Nov 2018