Jim Blair

May 23, 1948November 7, 2013
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James Boardman Blair, known to all as Jim, of Old Lyme, passed into eternal life on Thursday, November 7th after a courageous battle with leukemia. Born in Manchester, CT on May 23, 1948 to James T. and Elizabeth Havey Blair, he spent his childhood years in the Bolton and Manchester area. He graduated from Manchester High School in 1966. During his high school years Jim was a member of the Roundtable Singers. He played on the Manchester High School Golf team and was recognized as the number one golfer in the State of Connecticut. After high school he attended Mitchell College then enlisted in the United States Air Force. During the most intense part of the Vietnam War he served his country as a Morse Code Translator. After graduating from the University of Connecticut in 1974 Jim found that his passion was to appraise real estate. In 1986 he purchased Riess Appraisal Company, based in Norwich. Jim prided himself on having an office environment that was his second home. Not only was he a boss, he was a brother, father and best friend to his staff. Jim’s infectious smile, quick wit and extensive knowledge of real estate earned him not just clients but lifelong friends. On January 2, 1988 he married Amanda Allen at St. Ann’s Church in Old Lyme, Connecticut. It was there that their two loving children, James Allen Blair and Haley Gifford Blair were baptized and served as acolytes. Jim was actively involved at St. Ann’s Church. He served on the Old Lyme Board of Assessment Appeals for over 20 years and was on the Board of Trustees for Essex Savings Bank. As a loving father he was always involved in his children’s activities, coaching baseball, cheering on their sports teams and sharing his love of music, especially The Grateful Dead. Along with his wife Amanda and children James and Haley, he is survived by his two sisters, Jan England and Sheri Gowac, his father-in-law Stuart Allen and their families. He was predeceased by his wonderful dogs Hoagie, Beamer and Mcgwire. Jim was an avid skier and spent many years in the Mount Snow/Stratton area, where he owned a home. He taught his children and others the joy of skiing. He enjoyed boating and traversed the Black Hall and Connecticut Rivers for many years. August was reserved for Maine where he enjoyed cruising the Casco Bay and spending time with his family and friends on Littlejohn Island. As an avid sports fan of the Connecticut Huskies, Red Sox, Giants and the game of Golf, a four season’s man, he was always commenting on a sports event and cheering his teams on. It is ironic that his team won the World Series but Jim lost his battle. Jim taught so many friends and loved ones the value of family and friends, to “think before you criticize”, and to laugh and love. In Jim’s memory please echo his footsteps by passing on a funny joke or performing a random act of kindness for a stranger or a friend. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, November 23 at 1:00pm in St. Ann’s Church, Old Lyme. Calling Hours will be held on Friday, November 22 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm also at St. Ann’s. Please visit for photos, tributes, directions and more service information. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Jim’s memory to St. Ann’s Church in Old Lyme, CT or Friend’s of Casco Bay,

If you would like to order flowers please contact Elements Flowers in Old Lyme (860) 235-2722


  • Calling Hours Friday, November 22, 2013
  • Memorial Service Saturday, November 23, 2013

Jim Blair

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Susan Havey-Blake

June 23, 2014

I just recently heard about my cousin, Jimmy-Bo's passing. We grew up together, his mom and my dad were siblings. We were in Jan's wedding together!!!Oh the times at the Bolton Lake House!! Sherry and Jan, I am so sorry. He was the best.

December 5, 2013

I have had the distinct pleasure to know Jim as a friend and colleague for over 30 years. We spent time together at work and best of all we shared a great love of life. Jim's quirky sense of humor was always evident, as was his love for his family.

Jim was very highly regarded in his profession as a real estate appraiser. Our trips to court to testify against each other were always professional and courteous, and afterwards we would have lunch and share a laugh about someting totally unrelated.

Jim's boating adventures are legendary, he could find a rock or sandbar at a moment's notice. Navigational charts were definitely an option. The good news was he usually returned to the dock, sometimes under his own power, but always made it back home with another story to tell. Jim always found personal time for those things he enjoyed with frequent family ski trips and 20 years of summer vacation on Casco Bay in Maine. He also found time to be with his friends. The outpouring of support at his memorial service is a testimony to the number of lives he touched.

My family's thoughts and prayers go out to Amanda, James and Haley. We have lost a good man but know in your hearts he will never be forgotten.

Howard B. Russ, Waterford, CT

November 30, 2013

We will miss Jim's coming along side us in real estate matters. He was always kind and considerate. When I worked in Norwich @ 257 Main Street for John Shields many, many years ago, his real estate firm was in the same building then known as the Riess Agency. After I retired, Jim assisted me when my Dad passed in reviewing my Dad's properties and later ours. I will miss his kind smile and willingness to help. Thank you for the obit; we learned alot more than we ever knew about him. He leaves a void behind. May Jesus comfort you in your loss. Ted & Carolyn Grey, Colchester, CT

Barbara Tuneski

November 22, 2013

Amanda and children, I was so sorry to read Jim's death notice in the Day yesterday. He certainly lived a full and active life. The years since your wedding seemed to fly by and I'm glad for you they were filled with such good times. Again I extend my sincerest sympathy to you all. Fondest regards

Rick Lawson

November 22, 2013

Jim's dad was my mentor in business and through him I had the pleasure of meeting and knowing Jim and eventually Amanda. From the beginning you always knew that Jim would enjoy life and family until the end. Unfortunately the end came well too soon. Amanda, enjoy your family forever, and remember all the great memories.

Jean C Silverstein

November 21, 2013

My prayers are with you. Both my late husband and I had the pleasure of knowing and working with this lovely man.

Steve and Betsy Barrett

November 20, 2013

Amanda, James and Haley, We are so very sorry to hear of Jim's passing.
He was so very proud of his children and family. Amanda, my sincere condolences to all.

Geo+Jenn Mathanool

November 17, 2013

Jim was a brother to all and a friend in deed at St'Anns, we shall miss him! Yet another church gathering or celebration we'll be looking for a good banter with Jim, but alas such occasions would also nudge us on how much we miss him. WE pray for solace and strength for Amanda, Jim and Haley.

Dawn Day

November 15, 2013

My thoughts and prayers are with Amanda and family. I met Jim 25 years ago through his busines talent of appraising. He shared his superb knowledge in the business without reserve. His quick wit ans sense of humor are nice memories.

We will miss him. My deepest sympathy

Ellen Baker

November 12, 2013

I did not know Jim but I do know that he has raised an amazing daughter Haley. She attends the University of Vermont and I have had the honor of working with her. She is a beautiful human being as I am sure Jim was as well.