Long time Estes Park resident, Jane Blair, passed away on January 14, 2014. She was 91 years old. Jane was born on December 18, 1922. Her parents were pioneers to Estes Park as they came to the Estes Valley in 1916 where they were caretakers at the YMCA and Stead's Ranch in Rocky Mountain National Park. Her mother lost her first child at Stead's Ranch and when Jane was to be delivered the only physician in town, Dr. Roy Weist, drove her mother to Longmont to deliver, as they feared the altitude was the cause of the first baby's death. She had so many interesting stories of life growing up in early Estes Park.
Jane graduated from Estes Park High school and went on to attend the University of Colorado where she majored in Business Administration. She was unable to attend commencement at the University as World War II started and our country went to war. At her 50th class reunion of the School of Business at the University of Colorado, the university fitted all of her classmates with caps and gowns and she was able to participate in commencement with the current School of Business graduates. This was a proud moment in her life!
She married Duane Blair on August 1, 1947. Duane Blair was stationed in the Air Force and it was not long until they moved to England where Duane was an exchange officer with the Royal Air Force. Their first child, David, was born in England. They continued to move around the United States. Second child, Kerrie, was born at the Air Force base outside of Topeka, Kansas. Another assignment took them back to England where their last child, Judy, was born. Jane had many opportunities to travel the world while stationed in England. Jane and Duane attended the Races at Ascot and a garden party for Queen Elizabeth, as well as many other elaborate military functions. In 1965, Duane retired from the military as a Lt. Colonel. They returned to Estes Park and operated the Rockin' "J" Cottages until they were sold in 1978.
Jane was active in her church, the Community Church of the Rockies, and in Newcomer's, Villagers, Women's Club, ESA and Chapter AV PEO. She also served as a member of the Estes Park Library board.
Love of the outdoors was a true passion for Jane. She enjoyed skiing with her children and friends all the way to age 76! She was a member of the "Over the Hill Gang" hiking club and hiked at every opportunity. One of her proudest achievements was hiking the Grand Canyon from the North Rim to the South Rim!
In their retirement years, Jane and Duane traveled around the United States and were active in the Friday Niter's Dance Club. They were also avid bridge players.
Duane passed away on July 10, 1989, and Jane continued to be active and enjoy life. Later in life, she sold her home and moved to Estes Park Good Samaritan Village which she called her "second home." She passed away at Prospect Park Living Center.
Jane is preceded in death by her parents, her brother Allen, and her husband Duane. She is survived by her son David and his wife, Donna, and their two children, Christopher and Catherine, daughter Kerrie Hill and her husband Dan, and Judy Corbett and her husband John who reside in Australia.
Memorial services and a Celebration of Jane's Life will be held on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at Estes Park Good Samaritan Campus at 2 pm. Memorial contributions in her name can be made to Estes Park Medical Center Foundation.
Published in Estes Park Trail-Gazette on Jan. 25, 2014