Blair McDonald Catterton, born on the 23rd of April 1917, in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to the late Fulvia Spiller Catterton and Miley Catterton, passed away on Sunday, the 9th of December 2012, at the age of 95.
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He was preceded in death by his three brothers and their wives: Wilbert and Dorothy Catterton, Hampden and Erma Catterton, and Antrim and Arlena Catterton. Blair was a United States Army veteran, serving in Aruba during World War II.
Blair started his career in Indianapolis, Indiana, with L.S. Ayres, where he gained expertise in the interior design field. Soon after World War II, B. Altman and Company brought Blair to New York City to head up their home furnishings department. He was quickly touted as Fifth Avenue's newest star, restoring the store's image as a fashion leader. He believed in drama and the power of display in appealing to his clients. His passionate approach led to his designs appearing in The New York Times, House and Garden, Good Housekeeping, and McCall's. He was a member of the American Institute of Interior Designers, which later became the American Society of Interior Designers. Blair later joined W & J Sloane as antiques buyer and head decorator, further enhancing his reputation as a pacesetter in New York's decorating circles. He traveled to Europe and East Asia for many decades in pursuit of rare antiques, furniture and accessories to offer his clients. He invigorated the design world with his creativity with color, "knock em' dead" philosophy, incredible flair for the extraordinary and marketing talent. In later years, he opened Blair House Limited, a haven for decorators seeking unique pieces for their clients. Before his retirement, Macy's hired Blair to rejuvenate their antiques department, where he made quite a splash importing and arranging beautiful rooms to showcase their antiques.
In 1998, Blair moved to Houston to be closer to family. He is survived by four nieces and their husbands: Julie and Jim Kemper, Houston; Ann and Sonny Brown, El Paso; Lynn and Kolby Schrichte, Washington D.C; Nancy and Bill Fisher, Carmel, California, and many grand and great-grand nieces and nephews. Blair will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
He was beloved by all, and his colorful and fun personality and engaging stories and adventures enriched our lives.
The family is appreciative of the gracious and loving care given Blair by his physician, Patrick M. Carter, M.D.
The family will gather for a private interment at Forest Park Westheimer in Houston, where The Rev. Martin J. Bastian, Senior Associate Rector for Pastoral Care of St. Martin's Episcopal Church, is to officiate.
In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions on behalf of Mr. Catterton may be directed to the
Published in Houston Chronicle on Dec. 12, 2012