Pady Mark Blackwood died Tuesday, October 13, 2009 in Orlando, Florida where he resided. Pady was born August 5, 1939 in Kansas City into a family consisting of father, Marvin Hugh Blackwood, mother, Bertha Cleveland Blackwood, and siblings, Dorothy Arline and Marvin Maynard. He was 72 years old.
Pady was raised in the Kansas City area, where he attended school.
Pady performed in several school plays at Central High School in Kansas City. Continuing his interest in puppetry, he constructed puppets, wrote scripts and volunteered to perform shows in the City Parks. Following his graduation from High School, a traveling puppet troupe influenced him to pursue a career in New York City.
While in New York, Pady's work was seen on and off Broadway, TV, films, Amusement Parks and in concerts with symphony orchestras around the world, including the Israeli Philharmonic and Tokyo Symphony Orchestras.
One of Pady's claim to fame was being one of two surviving puppeteers for the classic "Howdy Doody" Show. Although he was not the original puppeteer, he helped his friend "Buffalo Bob" Smith revive the show in the 1970's. Pady then was the sole manipulator of the "Howdy" figure.
Pady served as Artist in Residence for three years at the Puppetry Arts Institute in Independence, MO. While there, he served as the Artistic Director and performed in the Frontier Trails Museum in Independence.
After moving to Florida, Pady assisted David Eaton in organizing Pinocchio's Marionette Theatre in Orlando. In early October, 2009, Pady was recognized as the guest of honor of the Central Florida Puppetry Guild.
Pady is survived by one brother, Maynard Blackwood of Knox City, MO. Nieces and nephews surviving include: Kathy Schofield, Kraig Kensinger, Kelly True, Karen Finkbiner, Kevin Kensinger, Keith Kensinger, Karla Sharp, all from the Metro Kansas City area; Mark Blackwood of Eureka, CA, Deana Blackwood of Summerland, CA, and Karen Selander of Ventura, CA. Four great nieces, eight great nephews and three step-great nephews also survive.
He was preceded in death by his parents, one sister, Arline Gastl.
A memorial service will be Sunday, November 8, 2009 at the Puppetry Arts Institute in Independence, Missouri.
Memorials in memory of Pady Blackwood may be made to Puppetry Arts Institute, 11025 E. Winner Road, Independence, MO 64052.