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Robert James "Bob" Blair

1922 - 2020
Robert James "Bob" Blair Obituary
Robert James "Bob" Blair, 97, of Chester, died peacefully on Saturday, March 21, 2020, at his longtime home with family nearby. Born May 12, 1922, in Chester, he was the youngest of six children and the only surviving boy born to Scottish immigrants Robert and Isabella (Dalgity) Blair. He was predeceased by his wife, Millie, in 2016, after almost 70 years of marriage, and by his beloved son, Bob, in 2018, as well as his sisters Isabelle Johnson, Elizabeth Henry, Margaret Breslin and Dorothea Standish, and his infant brother, also named Robert. "Papa" is survived by his daughter, Laurie Blair, of Chester; grandson Robert Blair and wife Kris Pollock, and their son, Robert "Burt" Blair, of Chester; grandson Russell Blair and fiancée Carla Anderson, of Manchester; a daughter-in-law, Rosemary Blair, of Chester; and many nieces and nephews. Bob was a 1940 graduate of Chester High School where he was president of his senior class and enjoyed cross-country running. He was a decorated veteran of the Army Air Corps, 376th Heavy Bombardment Group, in World War II and saw action as a top turret gunner in the European Theater. Upon returning from the service, Bob married Millie in 1946. At various times Bob belonged to the Pattaconk Fish and Game Club, was a Rotarian, was a Master Mason at Solar Lodge No. 131, was president of the Chester Cemetery Association, served on the Chester Planning and Zoning Board and along with Edmund and Barbara Delaney, founded the Chester Historical Society. After several years as a car salesman and a stint running a short-order restaurant in downtown Chester, Bob became a real estate agent. He was proud to have been able to sell a house in Chester to Judge Constance Baker Motley and they became fast friends. In 1967, Bob was approached to run for Chester first selectman and agreed. He was elected to office and subsequently served 22 years. During his tenure he worked hard to apply his inventiveness and vision to the many things the town needed during those years. After retiring in 1989, Bob got a little bored and applied for a local job at a family owned company, Paulson Training Programs. In the blink of an eye, 22 more years went by and Bob finally retired for good at age 91. Bob was a talented guitar player, a prolific writer, a voracious reader and he loved to bake. He loved nothing more than teaching his children everything from how to ride a bike to looking a person in the eye when you shake their hand. If you wish to honor Bob's life, please love your pets as always, stand up for animal rights, donate your time or money to a local rescue organization or adopt a stray and give it a loving forever home. Bob loved his family, his friends and his town. For that, we are lucky. A private burial will take place at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Chester. A public memorial service will be held at a later date.
Published in The Hartford Courant on Mar. 26, 2020
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