It is with saddened and grieved hearts that we announce Raymond LaVan “Van” Blair went to be with the Lord on Sunday, February 21, 2021 at Elmcroft Assisted Living after battling Alzheimer’s for several years. Van was born February 13, 1943 in Alexander City, AL to LaRue Smith Blair and Raymond Joseph Blair. He retired from IBM after 30 years and worked for awhile as a security guard at BAE in Kingsport.
While with IBM, Van lived in Honolulu, Hawaii; Okinawa; Harrisonburg, VA; Rochester, MN; Kingsport, TN; Detroit, MI; and Cincinnati OH. It was in Kingsport where he met the love of his life, Louella Adams. They were married on October 31, 1981 and had 39 years of a wonderful life of love and adventure. He and Louella retired to Kingsport, TN in 1995 and rejoined First Broad Street United Methodist Church and Pairs and Spares Sunday School Class where they were members before being transferred to Detroit.
Van loved the water and was an avid camper and water skier. With his wife, Louella, he also was an avid snow skier, skiing in the U.S. and Canada. They both loved adventure and travel by land, sea, or air. One of their favorite trips was a cruise to Alaska and visit to Denali National Park.
Van was preceded in death by his parents and both maternal and paternal grandparents, several aunts, uncles and cousins. Left to cherish his memory is his wife, Louella; one (step) son, James McLarty and grandson, Nathan McLarty; his brothers: James (Linda) Blair of Auburn, AL; Danny (Deborah) Blair of Alexander City, AL; David Blair of Cincinnati, OH; his brothers-in-law: James (Mary) Adams of Chesapeake, VA; Gary Adams and David Adams, both of Kingsport; and a very special brother- in-law Garland Burton of Kingsport; two long-time special friends Jerry (Debi) Mahon of Montevallo, AL and Bob (Sharon) Stembridge of Graham TX; several nieces, nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews; Pairs and Spares Sunday School Class and a host of friends and neighbors.
Louella and Van’s family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the caregivers of the Chronicles section of Elmcroft Assisted Living for the kind, compassionate and loving care they gave Van during his stay there.
Burial with military honors will be Friday, April 9, 2021, at the National Cemetery in Mountain Home, Johnson City, TN at 11:00am. Those wishing to attend should meet at the church at 10:15am. The family will receive friends from 2:00 – 4:00pm on Friday, April 9, 2021 at First Broad Street United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall. A Celebration of Life Service will follow at 4:00pm in the church sanctuary with Rev. Jack Weikel and Rev. Misty McCreary officiating.
Van donated his body to science via Restore Life USA, Elizabethton, TN. Even in his death he is helping others. To leave an online condolence, use Louella Blair’s account on FB.
Due to COVID-19, everyone attending is asked to wear a face covering and practice social distancing.