Blair, Neal LaVon (February 25, 1925 - May 6, 2004)

Neal LaVon Blair

Douglas Budget - May 12, 2004

Funeral services for Neal LaVon Blair, 79, will were held May 10 at First United Methodist Church in Douglas, with Rev. Dr. Robert D. Firebaugh officiating.

Inurnment was in Douglas Park Cemetery with Samuel Mares American Legion Post #8 according military honors.

Mr. Blair died May 6, 2004. at the Central Wyoming Hospice House in Casper.

He was born Feb. 25, 1925, in Kansas City, Mo., to Percy Carroll and Edna Agnes (Eikenberry) Blair. His parents were living temporarily in Kansas City when Neal was born.

Upon his dad's graduation from mechanic school, the family moved back to Wyoming.. His early boyhood days were spent on the American Ranch near Sussex and later on the J-Bar-U Ranch on the Powder River near Kaycee. His parents also owned a homestead on the west side of the Big Horns.

In September 1939, he attended his first quarter of high school in Buffalo. In November, the family moved to Lander where his parents purchased a ranch west of town.

He attended Fremont County Vocational High School. He was an avid football player and active in Future Farmers of America. Following graduation in 1943 he was inducted into the Army. He was discharged in 1945.

Mr. Blair received the North African, Middle East, Mediterranean Ribbon with three campaign stars (Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Combat Infantryman's Badge), the American Campaign Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal, and the Victory Medal.

On Oct. 13, 1945, he married Laura Jean Wagener at the Methodist church in Lander. He was a member of the Methodist church, American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Mr. Blair was a saddlemaker, having a saddle shop in Lander Sporting Goods in 1949. In 1951, he and his family moved to Pinedale where he owned and operated Pinedale Saddle Shop. Because of his health, he closed the saddle shop and worked various jobs in the community, temporarily for the U.S. Forest Service and in 1964 became a game warden in the Cokeville District.

In 1967, he and his family moved to Cheyenne where he worked in the state office of the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission. One of his accomplishments while working for the department was to write the book, "The History of Wildlife Management in Wyoming." He retired in 1987.

The Blair family purchased the K-9 boarding kennel and stable in 1971, which was sold in 1998. In 1994 he and his wife Jean moved to Douglas, where they have made their home.

Mr. Blair is survived by his wife Jean of Douglas; daughter Nancy and husband Bob Dobkin of Reston, Va.; sons Jim and wife Karen Blair of Glenrock, Tom and wife Sandy Blair of Laramie, and John and wife Caroline Blair of Douglas; daughter-in-law Liva "Lee" Blair of Federal Way, Wash.; 10 grandchildren; brother Wayne Blair of Casper; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his youngest son, Robert Joseph "Bob" Blair, sister Carol Mazzarell Martinez; and nephew David Blair.

Honorary pallbearers were Jim Blair, Tom Blair, John Blair, Jerrad Blair, Justin Blair, Trevor Blair, Marc Dobkin and Cody Blair.

A memorial to Douglas Senior Citizens Center, P.O. Box 192, Douglas 82633; First United Methodist Church, 136 S. Fifth St., Douglas; or to Wyoming Medical Foundation, Fifth Center Medical Units-Mini Suites, 1233 E. Second St., Casper 82601, would be appreciated by the family.

Gorman Funeral Home-Converse Chapel of Douglas was in charge of the arrangements.


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