Mr. Richard A. Blair possessed a tough-minded, "take charge" attitude. He had the ability to make even routine situations seem exciting, and he was at ease with the role of playing problem solver. Sociable and gregarious, Chuck was an individual who enjoyed life's challenges.
Chuck was born on April 17, 1932 at home in Newton, Kansas, to Lynde and Georgia Blair. He was raised in Newton, Kansas and Arlington, Virginia.
Chuck's family included two brothers, Don and George, and three sisters, Pat, Judy and Margaret. As a boy, Chuck was a Boy Scout and enjoyed reading and history. His early jobs included working at a dariy farm and sweeping floors in a department store. His greatest dream was to join the US Marine Corps. This dream was realized on his 17th birthday when he enlisted with his parents' permission.
Chuck was a veteran of the Korean Conflict and Vietnam War. During his twenty years of military service, he was stationed in Cherry Point, North Carolina; Memphis, Tennessee; Sedalia, Missouri; Santa Ana, California, and Jackson, Mississippi. Chuck saw action for one tour of duty in Korea and two tours in Vietnam and achieved the rank of Master Sergeant. He received several medals including a Navy Unit Citation, Combat Action, National Defense Service, Good Conduct, Vietnam Service and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.
Chuck met his wife to be, Carol Ann Spooner, in Memphis, Tennesses in early 1957. On May 3, 1957 Chuck exchanged wedding vows with Carol at the home of her parents, Wilfred and Wanda Spooner, of Memphis, Tennessee. Chuck was loyal partner and took great pride in being able to provide for his family's needs. During their 52 years together, Chuck enjoyed spending time with Carol and with their extended family. Chuck was blessed with four children, Kathy, Blair, Trish and Tom. They were also blessed with five grandchildren: Mackenzie, Madison, Spencer, Blake and Ian.
Chuck was a dedicated worker who was quick to make necessary decisions. Chuck was endowed with entrepreneurial spirit, allowing him to think beyond standard norms when it came to resolving issues in his work environment. After retiring from the US Marine Corps in 1969, his primary occupation was Customer Service Agent with Delta Airlines for 23 years.
Friends and acquaintances found Chuck an easy man to get to know. He never seemed to meet a stranger and had the ability to talk with anyone on almost any topic. While growing up, his best friends were his brothers, Don and George and cousin, Jack Warhurst. Later in life, he became friends with Cameron Quintana, a fellow recruiter in the US Marine Corps.
Chuck enjoyed his leisure time by taking part in various hobbies. His favorite pursuits were woodworking, fishing, and collecting model trains. He was content to enjoy his hobbies alone but was also willing to share his interests with others and many indivudiuals were recipients of his woodworking skills.
Chuck was a pragmatic problem solver who worked hard to help accomplish group goals. This skill made him a wonderful asset to the various groups and organizations to which he belonged. Always matter-of-fact about what needed to be done, Chuck worked steadily to meet any organization's goals. Throughout his later years, Chuck was an active member of the Masons, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Travel and vacations were experiences that Chuck truly enjoyed. He preferred to seek out excitement wherever he went and he was partial to vacations that were casual and laid back with an atmosphere of "live and let live." He was willing to leave his plans open and flexible, just in case something more interesting came along. Favorite vacations included Gatlinburg, Tennessee nd San Antonio, Texas.
Chuck was a lover of animals and cherished his pets. Some of Chuck's favorites were Toby, an Akita dog he had for 8 years and Corky, a Boston Terrier for 5 years. His family was rounded out by his numerous other dogs and cats.
He retired from the U.S. Marine Corp in 1969 and Delta Airlines in 1992. He remained active and held multiple part time jobs. In retirement, he found new pleasure in woodworking and spending time with his grandchildren.
Chuck passed away on January 29, 2010 at Hospice Ministries in Ridgeland, Mississippi of heart failure. He is survived by his wife, Carol; son, Thomas M. Blair; daughters, Kathy Johnson & husband Robert, S. Blair Brooks & husband Michael and Trish Champney & husband Kevin; brother, George M. Blair; sister, Margaret Blair; grandchildren, Mackenzie Johnson, Madison Johnson, Spencer Johnson, Blake Champney and Ian Champney. Services were held at Baldwin-Lee Funeral Chapel in Jackson, Mississippi on February 3, 2010 at 10:00 AM and was laid to rest in Lakewood Memorial Park in Jackson, Mississippi.
Chuck was the kind of person who could win others over easily. He was always able to provide amusing repartee to his friends and acquaintances, offering a seemingly endless supply of quips, anecdotes, jokes and stories. If Chuck had a theme song written about him, it might well have been "Don't Worry, Be Happy." He enjoyed his life and the experience of living it. This is how everyone will remember Mr. Richard A. Blair.