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Woody Funeral Home-Parham

1771 North Parham Road, Richmond, VA

OBITUARY

Gary Ronald Blair

July 16, 1951March 21, 2020

Gary Ronald Blair was born in Columbus, Ohio on July 16, 1951. He passed away peacefully at home on March 21, 2020, surrounded by family and loved ones.

Dr. Blair was an accomplished leader in education with 40-plus years of experience, ranging from teaching to division superintendent. He completed his undergraduate at James Madison University and went on to receive his Master's in Educational Administration and Supervision at Virginia Commonwealth and University and Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and Administration from University of Virginia. Dr. Blair had a unique passion for education and could juggle many tasks at the same time. He was brilliant at balancing the budget; mitigating division issues as a human resource director or superintendent; continuing to visit schools to support students with both learning in the classroom and extracurricular activities; and teaching future educators as an adjunct professor of Educational Leadership at Averett University.

Dr. Blair was also devoted to his family and friends. He shared the same kindness and passion for family as he did for the school systems. He was always available to assist in any way possible for family, friends, colleagues and the school system(s).

He was preceded in death by his parents, Robert R. Blair and Clara E. Blair. He is survived by his wife, Donna Blair; as well as his brother, six children and four grandchildren, listed as follows respectively: Robert Blair, Shenna Price (David Price), Matthew Blair, Brent Blair, Megan Clayton (Jason Clayton), Deborah Mayo (Mikie Shifflett), Robbie Mayo, Gibson Price, Eli Price, Caleb Mayo and Carter Shifflett.

A memorial service will take place at a later date.

Services

No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.

Memories

Gary Ronald Blair

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Dawn Roseberry

April 2, 2020

Dr. Blair’s smile was like a ray of sunshine.

I first met him when I went to a teacher work fair in Richmond. I was looking for my first teaching position and had done some research into rural locations that had open high school math positions. I knew I wanted to stop by the Rappahannock County table, and as I approached the table Dr. Blair looked up at me and smiled. I felt like I was meeting a Kindred Spirit a la Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery.

“I was looking for you,” I said with a smile.

“I think I was looking for you, too,” Dr. Blair smiled back.

A week later, after having interviewed at several schools -- and just having left the interview from Rappahannock County -- Dr. Blair called me as I was driving back to the Richmond area. He offered me the position and I accepted on the spot.

I am so glad that Dr. Blair was the first person I met from RCPS and that he was the one who called me that day. I have only fond memories of him and his impact on my life was profound.

Franny Neil

April 1, 2020

Dear Donna and Family

So sorry To hear this news. Mr. Blair was our Superintendent in Highland County Public School for several years. What a wonderful person. I have lots of good memories working with him. Keeping you and your family in our prayers.

Franny Neil

Jimmy Swindler

March 31, 2020

I was so sorry to hear the news of Dr. Blair's passing. I was fortunate enough to have worked under Dr. Blair and we became both colleagues and friends. He played a huge role in mentoring me as an administrator and taught me that you can be a high school administrator and still keep a sense of humor. It also became very clear to me early on in our relationship that he loved his family and treasured his time with them, particularly his time at OBX and fishing with his grandson, Caleb. My heart goes out to his family and I hope you all know what an enormously positive impact your Gary had on this particular individual. And I suspect he had that same positive impact on many others. He will be missed.

Cynthia Stevenson

March 30, 2020

Donna and family you have my deepest condolences. My heart holds so much respect for you and Gary and you will always be in my ❤.
Respectfully yours
Cynthia

Sandy Gills

March 29, 2020

Gary, thank you for bringing so much joy to my sister and our family. ❤️ I love you!

Elizabeth Korab

March 28, 2020

Gary--you gifted myself and so many others with your funny stories, tremendous compassion towards others, and ability to listen. I am blessed our paths crossed and thank you for your continued encouragement. Your impact and kindness will always stay with me. I am brokenhearted for your family--can only imagine the impact you've had on their lives. My heart especially goes out to your sweet grandchildren.

Bianca J

March 26, 2020

Thank you Dr. Blair for our short, but meaningful conversations. I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for you. Literally. Thank you so much and my condolences to the family. <3

Jayme Crawford

March 26, 2020

I only met him maybe twice and each time he treated me with such kindness. He will truly be miss a good kind man. Rest Easy Mr. Blair

Warner Howard

March 26, 2020

Gary Blair took a chance when he hired me to work for Charlottesville City Schools and I will be forever grateful. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Lisa Martin (Landrum)

March 25, 2020

Mr Blair was my 3rd grade teacher at RC Longan in 1976. I remember doing math games and laughing in his class. He always played this one joke with me - he would point to my shirt and say "What's that?". I'd look and he'd tap my nose. I fell for it every time, except for the last day of school that year. He jokingly said, "You did learn something!" I will treasure that memory.
My condolences to you all.

FROM THE FAMILY