"Ann Blurton was the first woman to have the courage for run for the city board," former State Gazette City Editor Jan Kelt told current State Gazette editor Jason Cannon. "Back in those days, women were not accepted or expected to hold any kind of office. Everything here was ran by men at the time."
"I've been knowing Ann ever since she moved to Dyersburg in the 1950s," said former Dyersburg Mayor Bill Revell to State Gazette reporter Vanessa Cain. "She served on the board and she did a great job. One thing I remember about her on the board, I remember she fought to keep pornography off the shelves where children could get to it. They had to put it behind the counter and ask for it, the way I remember it. That was one of the main things she will be remembered for. She and her family were very good Christians. We belonged to the same church. We were very close."
Revell said Blurton did not serve on the city board at the same time he served as mayor.
Appointed to the Dyersburg Municipal Planning Board in 1997, Blurton served the city as a planning commissioner for many years.
At age 54, Blurton decided to further her education. She earned an Associate of Science degree from Dyersburg State Community College in 1976. That same year, she ran for the office of Dyersburg city alderwoman. She won that election and served on the board through 1978.
Blurton pursued a full-time career in business when she became a real estate agent and broker in 1999. She served the community in that capacity until she was 85 years old.
During the Vietnam War, Blurton served on the local draft board. Again, she was the first woman to do so.
A member of First United Methodist Church since 1954, Blurton sang in the chancel choir for 40 years. She was a past president of the United Methodist Women and a member of the Outpost Sunday School Class.
She was also past president of the Cotillion club and held membership in the McDowell Music Club, the Tennessee Federation of Music Clubs, the Good Earth Garden Club and the Community Concert Association.
She will be remembered for her many performances in Dyersburg Little Theatre productions and local Hee-Haw shows.
Blurton traveled widely, visiting the Holy Land with a Methodist group under Dr. Henry Russell. She also traveled to Africa, where her son-in-law, Dr. Jim Goodwin, led a scientific expedition, and to Europe.
She leaves a daughter, Pat Goodwin of Holly Lake Ranch, Texas; a son, Murray W. Blurton Jr. of Tiptonville; and two grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband, Murray Willard Blurton Sr.; a brother, Lawrence Lowe; and her parents, Lawrence and Lena Ward Lowe.