Brett Gary Blakney
Published: May 8, 2012
Brett Gary Blakney, 43, died on May 4, 2012 in Clinton, Arkansas. Brett was born on November 17, 1968 in Shreveport, Louisiana. Brett was baptized at St. Mathias Episcopal Church in Shreveport. In 1982, Brett moved with his family to Harrison, Arkansas, where they attended St. John's Episcopal Church. Brett became very active in the Episcopal Church, serving as an acolyte, participating in EYC, and attending Camp Mitchell. At Harrison High School, Brett was involved in student life and on the tennis team. Brett also discovered the love of photography and journalism, which he later incorporated into his early career.
Brett had a love for the outdoors and spent his childhood visiting his grandparents on their farm in Stamps, Arkansas. Brett also spent many holidays and summers with his family at Lake DeGray. After moving to northern Arkansas, Brett quickly fell in love with the mountains and rivers of the region and spent a great deal of time canoeing on the Buffalo River. Later, he enjoyed boating and fishing on Greer's Ferry Lake, where his home was located.
Brett attended UAF, UCA, and UALR, where he received a Bachelor's Degree in technical writing and rhetoric. Brett's interests and talents led him to pursue many careers in his early adult life. A persistent theme was the restaurant business, in which he was always the most popular server, bar tender, and manager. He loved to impress a crowd with his bartending skills, and won various bartending competitions.
He eventually moved to Clinton, Arkansas where he immediately became involved in the community and politics. In Clinton, Brett was a reporter and photographer for the Van Buren County Democrat. He was also the former Main Street Clinton Executive Director, which revitalized the historic downtown. Brett was the chair of the Young Democrats of Van Buren County. In 2001, Brett's interest in government and politics led to his enrollment in the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Bowen School of Law. In 2005, Brett graduated with his JD and quickly opened his private practice—the Blakney Law Office—in downtown Clinton. He was a member of the Arkansas Bar Association.
In 2011, Brett opened the Black Dog Grill in downtown Clinton. He juggled successfully his busy law practice and owning and operating the restaurant. He had many plans to continue pursuing his hobbies in international travel, music, and the outdoors. From an early age, Brett loved animals and was well-known for taking home and caring for strays and injured animals of all types. He was known for his compassionate spirit, gregarious personality, and boundless energy.
Brett is survived by his parents, Gloria and Gary Blakney and his sister, Jane Anne Blakney-Bailey of Little Rock, his grandmother, Lorene Smith of Stamps, his close extended family of cousins and aunts and uncles, and his niece and nephew, Izzy and Liam Bailey. He is also survived by his adopted daughter, Ryan Tucker of Wichita Falls, Texas. He leaves behind a host of close friends and his beloved girlfriend Amanda Sullins of Clinton.
Memorial services are set for 3 p.m., Wednesday, May 9 at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 1000 N. Mississippi, Little Rock, Arkansas, with a reception following in the church parish hall. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Brett Blakney Memorial Scholarship, UALR Bowen School of Law, 1201 McMath Avenue, Little Rock, Ark. 72202, or the Pulaski County Humane Society, 14600 Colonel Glenn Road Little Rock, Ark. 72210 in Brett's name. Arrangements by Ruebel Funeral Home, www.ruebelfuneralhome.com.