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IDA BLACKBURN


1929 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
IDA BLACKBURN Obituary
Aug. 18, 1929 - Dec. 10, 2016 OKLAHOMA CITY Ida "B," a pioneer in early television, was born Aug. 18, 1929, as Ida Mae Turley in Ninnekah, OK, the eighth child born to Jess and Effie Turley. After attending schools in Chickasha and Chandler, she studied music in college and graduated from Central State College (UCO). She started a family and taught music in the public schools until 1958 when she auditioned for the role of "Miss Ida," the local host of a syndicated children's show, Romper Room, on KOCO-TV. Ida had a knack for connecting with viewers through the new medium of television, and she would remain on the air until 1975 with shows such as At Home With Ida B, The Ida B Show, and Dateline Hollywood. On the national stage, she was a pioneer in the coverage of movies and television shows with interviews captured at locations around the world and at studios in Los Angeles. Ida joined the sales staff at KOCO-TV and quickly became the top salesperson. Other accomplishments include service as a choir director at several Methodist churches, record-breaking promotion of concerts, modeling, singing, acting, and the creation of the Ida B Agency, one of the first public relations and advertising firms in Oklahoma owned by a woman. In 1992, Ida married former cowboy and zoo director, Birddog Rogers, who became her partner in life. In addition to Birddog, Ida is survived by son, Bob and his wife Debbie; daughter, Betty and her husband Jack Sexton; and grandchildren, Beau Blackburn and his wife Tori, Shay Speligene, Lindsey Tye and her husband Kevin, and Chris Speligene; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. A Memorial Service will be held on Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, at 11 a.m. in the Oklahoma History Center. The public is invited. In lieu of flowers, Ida asked that donations in her memory be made to the Oklahoma Historical Society.
Published in The Oklahoman on Dec. 18, 2016
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