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Lawrence R. Blair

Former Manteca resident

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POSTED January 10, 2009 12:24 a.m.
Lawrence R. (Larry) Blair, age 89, passed away on November 30, 2008 at 12:07 p.m. in Thornton, Colorado. He had suffered a stroke on October 20.  
Mr. Blair was born October 19, 1919 on a small farm in Oswego, Kansas, the sixth child of William and Mabel Blair. His father was Mayor of Oswego and published a weekly newspaper there for fifty years. Following graduation from the local schools, Larry attended the University of Kansas, receiving his degree in Journalism in 1941. He played clarinet in the KU marching and concert bands, sang in various choirs including the Westminster  A Cappella Choir, and was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity.  
Larry joined the U.S. Navy Reserve in 1940 as an Apprentice Seaman and entered the V-7 Officers Training program, which involved going on a training cruise to Cuba and Panama the summer of 1940. Immediately upon graduation from KU, he was sent to Midshipman School on the Northwestern University campus in Chicago, where he received his commission as Ensign three months later in September 1941. He served on five different ships in the Pacific Theater during World War II and retired on Inactive Duty in 1946 as a Lt. Commander, having participated in five major amphibious landings.  
Mr. Blair was married to Marjorie A. Markey on December 3, 1945 and to this union four children were born: Rebecca, Pamela, Stephen, and Mary Elizabeth.  Larry was employed by his father’s newspaper, The Oswego Independent, until 1951 when he accepted a position as Manager of the Borderline Printing Company in Weslaco, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley. In June of 1952 he returned to the Midwest to become Editor and Publisher of The Chetopa Advance, a weekly newspaper in Chetopa, Kansas. In addition to his duties at the newspaper, he was appointed Acting Postmaster in Chetopa by President Eisenhower in 1959. He left Chetopa with his family in July of 1961 to become Advertising Manager of The Palisadian Post, a large weekly newspaper in Pacific Palisades, California. In June of 1962 he was employed by the McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft Company in Huntington Beach, California as a Technical Editor and retired in 1983. He was married to his beloved wife Marjorie for 36 ½ years. When she passed in April of 1982, he moved to Manteca and married Dorothy Hinton on August 20, 1988 in St. Paul’s Methodist Church in Manteca.  Larry resided at the Villas at Sunny Acres, in Thornton, Colorado at the time of his death. Larry grew to manhood in the big band era and was an accomplished musician and vocalist. He played saxophone and clarinet and sang in various dance bands in the Midwest in the late 40’s and 50’s.  
Larry was a resident of Manteca for more than twenty years and still has many friends in the area, as well as his daughter Becki, who is the widow of the late Dr. Randall Williams, the first orthopedic surgeon in Manteca; and his granddaughter, Amanda Williams, and her fiancé, Stuart Dennis II. His other granddaughter, Melanie Williams Allegra, resides in New York City and was recently married to Mr. Gian Luca Allegra. Larry moved to Thornton, Colorado in August of 2004 to be near his daughters Pam Thompson and Mary Myers and their respective families.  
Larry is survived by his wife, Dorothy (who resides in Oregon), 4 children, 13 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren.  
Funeral services were held at the First Presbyterian Church in Oswego, Kansas at 2:00 p.m. on December 6, 2008. Internment followed at the Oswego Cemetery. Arrangements were under the auspices of the Murdock Funeral Home in Oswego. A Memorial Celebration of Life Service was held the following Saturday, December 13, at the Villas at Sunny Acres in Thornton, Colorado. Pastor Rod, from the Presbyterian Church, led the Service in the Music Room at the Ambassador starting at 10:30 a.m.  
Contributions can be made to: The Marjorie Markey Blair Memorial Scholarship Fund, in care of University of Saint Mary, Leavenworth, KS 66048-5082; or the S. Randall Williams MD Memorial Scholarship Fund @ Delta Bank in Manteca, CA; or the charity of your choosing.
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009
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