Gerard Blair, 70, a longtime Baker City resident, died June 25, 2004, at St. Elizabeth Health Services.
There was a vigil service for Mr. Blair at 7 p.m. Sunday at St. Francis de Sales Cathedral. A Memorial Mass was at 11 a.m. Monday at the cathedral. The Revs. Robert C. Irwin and Camillus Fernando concelebrated the Mass. There was a reception in Gerard’s memory at the Baker Elks Lodge after the service.
An outpouring of both grief and hope marks the passing of Gerard Blair, born in Baker City in 1933. He was an athlete at St. Francis Academy; letterman, captain of the basketball team, and member of the football team. He graduated from high school in 1951. He was a war veteran who served in Korea. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force in 1960.
At Basche-Sage, John Day Hardware and Blair’s Coast to Coast, among others, Gerard showed an exceptional knowledge in his field of trade and tireless dedication to helping and advising his customers. He was an accomplished outdoorsman who loved to go hunting and fishing with his friends.
He also was a handyman, woodworker, a crafter of fine violins and a gardener with a green thumb (just like his father before him). He was a past trustee of the Benevolent Order of Elks. He was named Elk of the Year in 1986 for his loyal and meritorious services. He was a member of Bishop Leipzig General Assembly, Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus. He was also a supporter of Baker City athletes.
Gerard will be remembered for a number of things: He was a man of impeccable integrity, a believer in the principles of ethics, a Catholic of firm belief in our Lord and hope of resurrection of the saints.
More than all this, however, Gerard will be remembered as a father of six children who he loved with unflagging devotion and a grandfather and great-grandfather of many children who he cared for with an abundance of patience and kindness. Gerard will be remembered as an affectionate brother with a sense of humor that kept everyone laughing.
He also was the neighbor who watched over those around him — from widows needing a helping hand to children needing popsicles on hot summer afternoons.
How many friends has Gerard asked to go first or offered his hand for support? How many travelers has he pulled out of snow banks or given directions on remote roads? Nobody knows. As a humble man, he quietly went about his business bringing us closer to God by example.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Francis de Sales Cathedral through Coles Funeral Home, 1950 Place St., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, July 2, 2004
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor