Hubert James "Tom" Blair

Waterford - Hubert James (Thomas) Blair, 86, died Thursday, March 6, 2014, in Waterford.

He was born Dec. 15, 1927 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Tom, as he was known, was married to Muriel Elizabeth Blair for 63 years. He was the son of Thomas James and Ida Florence Blair. He was predeceased by his two brothers, Ronald and William Blair.

His father was a bank manager with the Northern Bank, and the family lived in different towns in Northern Ireland, with Newry and Portadown being of particular importance to Tom. His father's posting to Londonderry was also of significance, as it was there that Tom attended Foyle College boarding school, and while not of age to serve in World War II, he worked at the naval yard at Lisahally at the end of the war dismantling surrendered German U-boats. It was in Londonderry that he met Muriel Moore, and they were married at Glendermott Parish Church in 1951.

They moved to the outskirts of Belfast in the early 1950s, had a son Michael, and eventually settled in Whitehead, County Antrim. There they lived in a large terraced home on the Promenade, a household that included his mother, Ida, mother-in-law, Charlotte, and sister-in-law, Maureen. He enjoyed his life in this coastal village, and was a member of The County Antrim Yacht Club where he helped restore the Lake Class of sailboats and enjoyed sailing in Belfast Lough. He worked as an electrician for the Ormo Bakery in Belfast.

In 1983, he and his wife Muriel joined their son Michael in the United States. He worked for ten years at The Mystic Seaport Museum. In retirement, he enjoyed his love of golf and demonstrated his love of people as a longtime volunteer at The Westerly Hospital. He also served as the Sexton at Calvary Church in Stonington. Both he and his wife Muriel became American citizens in the 1990s.

He is survived by his wife, Muriel; son, Michael; daughter-in-law, Sarah; grandson, Torren and his wife, Cory; and great-grandchildren, Josephine and Wesley of Philadelphia; grandson, Gavin Blair and his fiance, Laudine Vallarta, of New York City; and granddaughter, Rachel Vogt and her husband, Sheldon; and great-granddaughter, Isla, of Concord, N.H.

He was a gentle man who enjoyed life and the people he met along the way. The family wishes to thank the staff of The New London Rehab for their kindness and care over the last two years.

A memorial service celebrating Tom's life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 15, 2014, at Calvary Church in Stonington Village.

Donations in Mr. Blair's memory may be made to The Stonington Cemetery Association, 345 North Main St., Stonington, CT 06378.

Published in The Day on Mar. 9, 2014