Bruce Monroe Blackman

Bruce Blackman — a Foreign Service Officer, Zen Roshi and Guiding Teacher — was born in Bridgeport, CT on November 6, 1942 and passed away on May 3, 2021 in Falls Church, VA.

Bruce moved with his family to Portland, Oregon when he was 12. He loved sports and was a great baseball player in high school and college. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts, followed by a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley, and a 2nd Master’s Degree from the Johns Hopkins University School for Advanced International Studies in International Public Policy.

He began a career with the State Department Foreign Service (US Agency for International Development) in 1970 as a Foreign Service Officer which took the Blackman family to South America, Central America, and Asia.  After 23 years with USAID, he retired from government and worked for Fairfax County while pursuing his passion for Zen teaching and Meditation, through which he formed many lasting, important relationships in his life.

Bruce was a Zen Roshi and guiding teacher of the Clare Sangha Meditation group in Baltimore, MD, where many were fortunate enough to learn meditation through his gentle and patient guidance. Helping people grow in their spirituality and mindfulness gave him great happiness. He was an avid runner, swimmer, and hiker – completing 18 marathons, including the Boston, New York and Marine Corps marathons – as well as numerous hikes around the world. Bruce enjoyed spending summers at the family cottage in Nova Scotia and loved to hear about his family’s interests and successes, regular family get-togethers, watching his grandsons play baseball, and seeing his loving family grow. We are heartbroken by his loss but take comfort in knowing he lived a full, rich, spiritual, and interesting life that touched so many people in a unique way.

Bruce is survived by his wife of 54 years, Joan, as well as sons, Marc (Susanna), Burke (Casey), daughter, Holly (Justin), sister, Lindsay (Hugh) and six grandchildren, Melanie, Kristina, Monroe, Callen, Reeve and Abbie. He is predeceased by mother, Virginia Pottratz; father, Judson Blackman; daughter, Erin Nunez; and brother Gary Blackman.

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