Jeffrey Neal Blair, 56, passed away peacefully on Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, at his home in Virginia Beach, Virginia, from extended complications of juvenile diabetes.
He was born Oct. 25, 1961, in Norfolk, Virginia, the son of William Garnet Blair and Mary Ann (Hayes) Blair. He attended school and was a resident of Anderson, Indiana, and Virginia Beach, Virginia.
He enjoyed playing tennis doubles with his father as a teenager. He was an avid fisherman, loved boating, and played the guitar. Anyone who knew Jeff was amused by his quick wit and sense of humor. He worked as a standup comedian briefly and was always cracking jokes. Like his father and sister, Terri, he shared a love of automobiles. He and his father showed and maintained collector cars.
They had a 1957 Pontiac that was first in its class in the nation. He had a talent for car mechanics and worked with replacement car parts for several years.
Jeffrey survived many complications of juvenile diabetes with new hyperbaric chamber treatments, a kidney transplant, and blindness with help from Leader Dogs for the Blind. He was inspired to become a past president of the Virginia Beach Oceanside Lions Club District 24-0. He devoted his talents and time to support the organization that sponsors Leader Dogs for the Blind.
His mother, an employee of Sentara Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia, and also a Lions Club member, introduced Jeff to the Volunteer Services Coordinator at Sentara.
Jeff and his black lab became a volunteer team that delivered the mail on the first floor where there were lots of visitors, volunteers and employees (no inpatient clinical units). The idea was to educate people in the routine of a blind person and his leader dog and in how they are independent and that they can function productively and accomplish goals for themselves and others.
He is survived by his beloved wife, Joanne Dickson; son, Joshua; stepsons, Ronan and Kevin; father, William Garnet Blair, and his stepmother, Sandra; sister, Terri Lynn and her husband Marcel Baker; stepsister, Dr. Katherine Herrick; and step-niece, Juliet Herrick of Tucson, Arizona.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Mary Ann (Hayes) Blair; grandparents, William and Irene Blair of Anderson, Indiana, and Wilbur and Blanche Hayes of Norfolk, Virginia.
The family wishes to thank Jim Palacio, a fellow Lions Club member, and Alan Paganelli of Las Vegas for their friendships and support. Also, thank you to all the caregivers that helped Jeff along the way.
A very special thank you is given for the support of his loving and devoted Leader Dogs: Babe, Mia, Prince, and Badger, who gave Jeff unconditional love and independence.
Calling hours and flowers are respectfully omitted. Please go to Lasting Memories at http://iastingmemories.com/memorial/jeffrey-neal-blair to celebrate his life with photos, stories, music and other tributes.
Memorial gifts may be made to JDRF Juvenile Diabetes at http://www.JDRF.org or The National Kidney Foundation at http/Iwww.kidney.org; or Leader Dogs for the Blind in Rochester Hills, Michigan at http//www.leaderdog.org.
Interment at Maplewood Cemetery in Anderson, Indiana, is private.
Published on January 20, 2018