JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - A former Jackson City Councilman’s passing is being felt across the country by friends and colleagues.
Tuesday, Frank Bluntson died in home hospice after a lengthy illness. Described by many as a leader since his upbringing in Clarksdale to an advocate for the poor in the inner city.
“Frank was the type of person that gave his all to everyone,” said longtime friend Roy Curry. He lives in Chicago and maintained a friendship with Frank Bluntson for more than 70 years.
The two grew up in Clarksdale and visited often when the former NFL player returned to the state. The 81-year-old has fond memories of the man who he knew would be involved in politics.
In 1955 after Emmett Till’s murder, Curry said he and a group of friends were traveling from a college football game in Tupelo. They were discussing among themselves and using profanity when talking about who would pay for gas.
Curry said a white couple passed by and called the police. On the side of the road, police accused them of cursing the couple and asked them if they knew what happened to the boy in Money, Mississippi.
He said the officer wanted to know who would take the blame. Curry credited Bluntson with quick thinking that kept them all safe.
“Somebody better take the blame,” Curry said the officer demanded. “And Frank kinda huddled us all up together and said ‘Don’t no one take the blame because something might happen to that person.’ The police ended up saying ‘How much money you guys got?’”
The two term Ward 4 councilman was a youth court counselor and elementary school teacher. Mary C. Jones Elementary was where Hinds County Sheriff Lee Vance began his relationship with Bluntson.
“He was a wise man who knew a lot about government, who knew a lot about just a common sense approach to taking care of your family and taking care of your business. He was a guy that I greatly admired,” said Vance.
The Coahoma County native held food drives annually during the holidays for seniors in the community. It was renamed in honor of his late son, Craig. Bluntson then took on the role of father to his grandson Connor.
As Jackson police chief, Vance honored him with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his service to the community. The former co-host of the long running radio talk show “Straight Talk” was 85 years old.