Carl Raymond Blair

November 28, 1932January 22, 2018

Beloved Carl Raymond Blair passed peacefully into the arms of Jesus on January 22, 2018 after a period of declining health. Born November 28, 1932, Carl was the only child of Floyd and Sarah (Severson) Blair of Atchison, Kansas. Although his childhood was in the throes of the Great Depression, it was rich. Carl and his double cousins, Earl and Cleve Blair, had endless adventures exploring the land, creek and rocky sand bank that surrounded his home. As farm boys, animals were constant friends and entertainment. Their grandfather, Oscar christened them with a nickname that endures even today, The Three Wildmen. Carl's elementary education was in a one room schoolhouse. Two of his lady teachers recognized and nurtured Carl’s artistic abilities. He was encouraged to decorate the schoolroom with mobiles and draw on the chalkboard as the other students refined their academics. At Atchison High School, another life changing mentor entered in the form of Walter Yost. Yost, a farmer and art teacher, took a special interest in the Blair cousins. Upon high school graduation, Yost took Carl to KU and introduced him to the art faculty. His KU professors, in turn, fostered Carl through their teaching and encouragement. His junior year Blair was drafted and served two years with the Army Corps of Engineers who were reassigned to the Airforce (SCARWAF) during the Korea War. In 1956, Blair graduated from The University of Kansas. He obtained his MFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and married his cherished Margaret in 1957. Early life influences reappear through Blair's art. He is known for landscapes that he defined as visual poetry. Whimsical clay and wooden animals hearken back to his childhood. “If I know anything, it is the land and the animals.” Blair also carried the torch of mentorship and support of art colleagues throughout his life. He was a passionate patriot with deep love for his country. Carl Blair was preceded in death by his parents and his lovely wife of 49 years, Margaret Ruble Blair. Surviving is their only child, Ruth Blair Lair and husband Michael Lair of Canton, Ohio, grandson Cameron Lair and granddaughter Mackenzie Lair also of Canton. Surviving also is his long-time friend and companion Dr. Carol Cline Stilwell and double first cousins Earl, Cleve and Nadine (Kay) Blair. Carl was a devoted Christian man. He was exceptionally kind and always sought to be an encourager to people. Blair served as a professor of Art at Bob Jones University from 1957 until his retirement in 1998. In addition he taught at the Greenville County Museum of Art and in the early days at the Governor's school when it was a summer program held at Furman University. Carl was appointed to and served on the South Carolina Arts Commission for 10 years, and was elected its Chairman twice. He helped to change the landscape of the arts in Greenville and South Carolina. He was a founding owner of the Hampton III Gallery in the early 1970's. Carl received much recognition both for his works of art and as an advocate on behalf of the arts. His work has been shown in numerous museums across the nation and in Embassies in Egypt and Africa. In 2005 he was awarded the prestigious Governor's Award, the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner Award for Lifetime Achievement. From an early age he desired to be an artist and in that fulfillment, the state of South Carolina arts scene was the beneficiary! Visitation with the family will be Friday 4-6:30 pm at Hampton Park Baptist Church, 875 State Park Rd., Greenville, SC 29609. The memorial service will be held Saturday at 2 pm at the same location on State Park Road.

The family would like to thank the Staff and Management of The Palmettos/NHC Mauldin and the Caris Hospice group for their excellent care and attention to Carl.

In lieu of flowers, a donation could be sent to or to the charity of one's choice.

Online tributes at


  • Visitation

    Friday, January 26, 2018

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, January 27, 2018


Carl Raymond Blair

have a memory or condolence to add?


February 3, 2018

To Ruth and family, We are so deeply sad about our dear long time family
friend leaving our world. Carl was the best of the best in every area of life. He was so blessed to have a most loving and wonderful family. His kind, gentle and
helpful manner was a generous gift to everyone in his life. Sincere sympathy and prayers. Karen Yost McDow and Harold

Sonya Pfeiffer

January 27, 2018

Carl is a beloved artist at Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art in Charlotte, NC, and we are proud to continue to share his beautiful creations. Our condolences to his family and loved ones.


January 27, 2018

God's kingdom is going to remove sickness and death forever. Let us continue to pray for the fulfillment of Matthew 6:9,10.

Susan Willis

January 25, 2018

A warm, loving friend to many. I will cherish my memories of Carl.

Louise Halsey

January 25, 2018

My thoughts are with Margaret and others for whom Carl was a constant presence and source of love & strength. Carl was part of my life in that my parents were both artists and the circle of artists in SC was not that large when they were starting out. Sending loving thoughts and hopes for calm days ahead after what seems to have been a hard time leaving his body.

Terry Steinbrecher

January 24, 2018

Mr. Blair will be missed by many.

January 24, 2018

He will be missed.

January 24, 2018

It was our pleasure to call Margaret and Carl Blair our friends. He was a true gentleman and gentle man. What a lovely, sweet lady was Margaret. They made a beautiful couple. So in harmony with each other. We send our sincere sympathy to Ruth and your family. May God bless.

Lydia Kellett

January 24, 2018

I celebrate a great life. And I send sympathy to Carl's family.

Phil Garrett

January 23, 2018

A beloved mentor and Friend.