|Death: ||May 4, 2006|
With permission from:
The Okemah News Leader -- May 14, 2006
Funeral services for Vernon W. Blair were held Wed., May 10 at 3 p.m. at the Cornwell Chapel. He died May 4.
Blair was born in Kinta to Ann and L.M. Blair. He was the fourth (middle) son of seven brothers. The family moved to Castle where they operated the Blair grocery store. He graduated from Okemah High School where he lettered in football, basketball, and baseball. He played shortstop on the 1938 Okemah American Legion team which lost in the semifinals of the National Championship game to a San Diego team led by pitcher Hal Newhauser of American League fame.
He attended the University of Okla. on a baseball scholarship until the bombing of Pearl Harbor. All seven Blair brothers were in the armed services of the United States at the same time during WWII. One brother, Joe, was killed in action in Italy. BLair enlisted in the Naval Air Corps and began his training in Oakland, Calif. He married Helen Mullins, his high school sweetheart. He was attached to fighter plane squadrons and dive bomber planes. He instructed flight cadets until he was assigned to the Pacific fleet in early 1945. His carrier was en route to invade Japan when the "A" bomb ended the war. During his cadet training, instructor periods, and fleet assignment, he was classmate and aircraft carrier roommate of Scott Crossfield of X15 and space flight fame.
He left active duty in 1946 but maintained his Navy connections as a Naval Reservist. He was recalled to duty for the Korean War in 1951. He served as executive officer of his fighter squadron aboard the USS Philippine Sea during ten months of combat. He earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and ten air medals. After retiring from the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander, he returned to the University of Okla., completed his degree and moved his family to LaHabra, Calif. He taught math, science, physical education, driver education and coached football, basketball, and baseball for thirty years at LaHabra High School. He and his wife, Helen, moved to Senior Estates Golf and Country Club in Woodburn, Ore. in 1987. He played golf, square danced, and loved reading.
He was a quiet, introspective, non-complaining person. He always sought the positive aspect of any situation. He was always polite and respectful to others, and life Will Rogers he never met a person he didn't like. He had a wonderful sense of humor which often caught you by surprise. He was even tempered and never raised his voice in anger. He was always reticent about his accomplishments and never volunteered any information about himself or his deeds.
Survivors include Helen, his wife of 64 years, and two sons and daughters-in-law, Joe and Sue Blair of Long Beach, Calif. and Vernon II and Emily Blair of Olympia, Wash. There are five grandchildren, Kristi, Doug, Karen, Clay, and Greg; four brothers, Marvin of Cladwell, Idaho, V.P. of Broken Arrow, Leslie of San Juan Capistrano, Calif. and Victor of Dallas, Ore.
Funeral arrangements were by Cornwell Colonial Chapel in Woodburn, Ore.
Created by: Debbie Lee Long (inactiv...
Record added: Aug 19, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 15424022