Traverse City Record-Eagle


July 4, 2014

Doris Blair

GLEN ARBOR — Doris Blair, age 90, of Glen Arbor, passed away the afternoon of June 29, 2014, and the world lost a very kind and gentle soul. She was born in Hartford, Conn., on Aug. 3, 1923, to Mabel (Ward) Keffer and Ralph Keffer. She married Francis Austen Blair in Chicago, Ill., on May 30, 1953, and he preceded her in death on Aug. 6, 1988.

She is survived by her sister, Eleanor Keffer Dornon; her five children, Joy Anne Blair (Jane Greiner), Thomas Austen Blair (Anne Wrigley Dale Blair), Elizabeth Jane Blair (Gary Stair), Benjamin Ralph Blair (Cindy Kalberer Blair) and Timothy Ward Blair (Sheena Chen); and her seven grandsons, Jacob (Kelly), Devon (Casey), Taylor (Sarah), Benjamin (Ashley), Philip (Kate), Nathan (Amanda) and Brian.

Doris received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Miami University in 1945 and then worked for several years in color photo chemistry at Kodak in Rochester, N.Y. She completed a master’s degree in social work at Haverford College in 1951 then moved to Chicago to work for the American Friends Service Committee.

Doris was living in Chicago when she met and married Frank Blair. Doris and Frank moved from Chicago to Lafayette, Ind., in 1955 and then later onto a small farm outside Lafayette to raise their family. The family had a big vegetable garden, and here Doris, a city girl, learned about preparing and canning the garden produce. She gave her children an appreciation for books by reading to them when they were younger and then later taking them each Saturday to the county library.

Doris returned to chemistry as a lab technician at Purdue University’s Animal Sciences Department in 1965, working there for some 27 years until her retirement in 1988. Regarding her return to chemistry after a 15-year hiatus Doris later quipped, “When I started at Purdue I wasn’t sure I remembered the difference between an acid and a base!” Nevertheless, she quickly got back into it and enjoyed working with Dr. Ralph Erb and other researchers studying endocrinology in farm animals.

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