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Thursday, June 8, 2023
9:30 - 11:00am (Central time)
Thursday, June 8, 2023
11:00am - 12:00pm (Central time)
Thursday, June 8, 2023
11:45am - 12:45pm (Central time)
Funeral services celebrating the life of Mr. Donald Allen Blair, 78 of Monroe, LA will be held at 11:00 A.M. Thursday, June 8, 2023, in the chapel of Mulhearn Funeral Home in West Monroe, La with the Reverend Terry Taylor officiating. Interment will follow in Kilpatrick Serenity Gardens Cemetery in West Monroe.
Visitation will be from 9:30 A.M. until service time Thursday at Mulhearn’s.
Mr. Blair died in his home, in Monroe, Louisiana on June 5th, 2023 after a brief illness.
Donald Allen Blair was born on July 13, 1944 in Scottsbluff, Nebraska. His father died when he was very young so Don’s mother was left a widow to care for her small children. Times were hard.
We all remember hearing Don talk of the heavy snowstorms in Nebraska and walking in the bitter cold to school. Don and his sister Jan would have to use the fence as their guide to not lose their way because the blanket of snow covered everything. When there wasn’t a fence, they had a rope for the children to follow and hold on to. His 4th, 5th, and 6th grades of school were taught in his teacher’s home with only two other students: one was his sister, Jan and the other student was his teacher’s son.
Don moved his senior year to Altus, Oklahoma to live with his sister, Jan and he graduated Salutatorian from Altus High School.
Don has worked his entire life. At age 14, he started working at his first formal job at Safeway Grocery Store. He was underage but he said that they didn’t ask and he didn’t tell. Two weeks later when they found out that he was underage, they fired him. He walked down the street to a smaller grocery store and once again, they didn’t ask and he didn’t tell. He worked in the mornings before school and he worked after school and on weekends. He worked 18 months straight with no days off. During most of that time, he was often the only one in the family working and by doing so, he was able to support his mother, little sister Edie and little brother Les.
Don began his career with State Farm Insurance in Murfreesboro, TN at age 21. He started in “Dead Records” which was considered the lowest job in the company. It didn’t take long for his work ethic to be recognized and was promoted to supervisor. In 1968, Don transferred to Monroe when the State Farm Mid-South office was opened. During his State Farm career, he received the IIA designation, his CPCU and CLU designation. He was an able Toastmaster and was often called upon to judge for school speech classes. He was also a “go to” person at State Farm for solving problems and helped with many special projects and events.
Don attended NLU at night majoring in Insurance & Real Estate, then took a break his senior year and never went back. After a 40 year career with State Farm, Don retired at age 61.
Don was an avid reader of non-fiction only. He was an electrician, a plumber, a carpenter and a mechanic! He was a true Jack-of-all-trades! If he needed help, he went to Youtube!
Bill Kirksey fondly referred to him as “Dr. Blair”. The family can all attest that they would call Don with their symptoms and he would diagnose them and almost ALWAYS, he was RIGHT!
Don was an avid cyclist and an accomplished and competitive tennis player.
Don was a CPR instructor with the Red Cross for 15 years.
Don always said that he didn’t really start living until the age of 45, the year that he accepted Christ as his Savior. The man that was known as an Atheist made a radical change! His heart’s desire was to introduce others to Christ. He joined a prison ministry called Kairos and was part of that group for over 14 years, working at Winn Correctional Institution. He also volunteered to drive to Winnfield once a month for 9 years to share the gospel at Green Oakes. He also went to Swanson Juvenile facility and got his small group from church involved, taking sandwiches, desserts, and drinks. Lots and Lots of funny stories came out of those meetings. Don was also part of the First West prison ministry teaching different programs along with being involved with the Ouachita Correctional Center and Richwood Correctional Center. Don also helped facilitate with Family Church Men’s Fraternity.
For many, many years, Don was faithful to cook and to serve lunches at Grace Place.
For many sitting here today, you probably received a card or a note on a napkin or the church bulletin with a word of encouragement.
Don loved his church, Family Church, his small group and worship music. Don was even a song writer. He wrote one called “The Cruelty of The Cross” but his favorite song was the one he wrote for the love of his life, Judy, called “Gray Eyed Girl”
Don loved animals and for the longest time he would stop at Wendys on Wells Road and buy French fries then go to the animal shelter and feed the dogs.
He was also known as the “Lolly Pop” Man since he always carried suckers in case he saw someone he thought needed one.
Don Allen Blair is preceded in death by his father William “Bill” Gilbert Blair, his mother, Hester May Foster Blair, his brother, Leslie James Wilkie of Lees Summit Missouri and brother-in-law, Reverend David Diamond of Baton Rouge.
Don Allen Blair, is survived and was loved dearly by his wife of 39 years, Judy, his daughter Cheri Blair of New Orleans, his son and daughter-in-law, Adam & Stephanie Blair of Newport Beach, California, his step-daughter, Stacy McManus of Monroe, his sister and her husband, Jan and Roger Jones of Azle, Texas, his sister Edie and her husband Jerry Lindamood of Irving, Texas his sister in law, Rita Wilkey of Lees Summit Missouri, his sister and brother in law, L.J. & Brenda Franz of New Orleans, Louisiana, his sister-in-law Diane Diamond of Baton Rouge, his brother and sister-in-law, Bill & Grace Kirksey of West Monroe and many, many beloved nieces and nephews.
Pallbearers will be Don Richey, L.E. Bowers, Mike Richie, Jason Hinton, Lamar Deloney, and Gary Fryer.
Memorials may be made to Grace Place Ministries.org 1600 Jackson Street, Monroe, Louisiana, 71202