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James Albert Blair, Jr.

Obituary for James Albert Blair, Jr.

October 21, 1932 - July 23, 2020
Universal City, Texas | Age 87

Obituary

Colonel (Retired) James Albert Blair, Jr. passed away on July 23, 2020 following a long and happy life. He was born Oct. 21, 1932 in Pittsburgh, PA to Dr. James Albert Blair and Florence Jethro (Newman) Blair. Jim and his brother Sid were raised in Pittsburgh and on the family farm in Plumville, PA. He attended Peabody High School, then the Univ. of Pittsburgh where he joined the Air Force ROTC program. He also met and married his wife of almost 50 years, Jean Ann Newman, while attending Pitt. From there, Jim went to pilot training and had a 26+ year military career as a pilot, instructor and administrator in the USAF. Among his many commendations were three Legion of Merit Medals and the Air Medal. Jim traveled the world and finally retired in 1981 at Randolph AFB near San Antonio, Texas.

Jim then started his next endeavor, Blair's Repairs, and continued to build and repair things into the early 2000's. In 2003, Jean passed away, and Jim married his second wife of almost 16 years, Eleanor JoAnne Dance Dyer, in 2004. Unfortunately, Jim developed Alzheimer's and spent the last year and a half in assisted living memory care where he lamentably succumbed to complications due to Covid-19. Special thanks to The Landing at Stone Oak for their care of Jim, and to Jonathan Reyes for his devotion during the last few months of Jim's life on earth.

Jim loved life itself. He loved both his families, his dog Bailey, flying, building things, fishing, sports--particularly the Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers and the SA Spurs, singing, traveling the world, playing bridge, going to the beach, AND, of course, his ice cream! He was a member of and sang in the Universal City United Methodist Church and the Alamo Heights United Methodist Church choirs.

He was an eternal optimist. To Jim the glass was neither half full nor half empty. It was always full, and he would drink every drop of whatever it contained, only to refill it again. He loved people and would talk to anyone he met, always ready with a compliment for the ladies. He lived out his faith with joy and hope. Jim had a long and interesting life and will be missed by all who knew him.

Jim is survived by his second wife, Eleanor JoAnne Dance Dyer Blair; his brother, Sidney Blair and wife Jean; three daughters, Karen Ward and husband Philip, Deborah Cowan and husband Mark, of North Carolina, Victoria Ammerman and husband Brian of Texas; and one son, James N. Blair and wife Bonnie of New York; seven grandchildren, Katie Covington and husband Ben, Laura Martin and husband Daniel, and Kelly Ward all of North Carolina; Cassie Ammerman of New York, Wes Ammerman and wife Amanda of Washington, DC, and Carly and James M. Blair of New York; and 4 great grandchildren, Noah and Connor Covington and Lucas and Ian Martin all of North Carolina.

Jim is also survived by members of JoAnne's family; two children, John Dyer and wife Kathryn, and Amy Dyer; three grandchildren, Rebecca and Andrew Dyer and Kaetlyn Acuna; and one great grandson, Sebastian Acuna, all of Texas.

Colonel (Retired) Blair will be buried at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. The service will be livestreamed on Monday, August 17, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. on the Porter Loring Website, www.porterloring.com. Go to "Obituaries", select "James Blair" and scroll to the livestream link near the bottom.

In lieu of flowers, the family request donations may be made to your local church or food bank.

While he will be forever missed, we are grateful that Jim has finally "slipped the surly bonds of earth" and can now "touch the face of God."

For those who would like to view the recorded service, please follow the link:
https://admin.mediafusionapp.com/_live/embedPlayer.php?contentId=86330

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San Antonio, TX 78232
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