Anne H. Blair

[ Age 89 ] Former Stoneleigh resident headed a state hospital auxiliary group and was a dedicated volunteer.

December 15, 2007|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,Sun reporter

Anne H. Blair, who after raising a family became a hospital volunteer and headed a state hospital auxiliary organization, died of congestive heart failure Wednesday at the Oak Crest Village Care Center. The former Stoneleigh resident was 89.

Born Anne Horner on Calvert Street in Charles Village, she was raised in Cedarcroft and attended Notre Dame Preparatory School before graduating from Seton High School. She attended the old Towson State Teachers College.

She became a medical secretary. In April 1942, she sailed to Trinidad to marry William F. Blair, who was serving in the Army Corps of Engineers.

Mrs. Blair returned to Baltimore with her husband in 1943, and they raised seven children.

"The early years were rough financially," said her son Charles H. Blair of Pylesville. "When her children reached school age, my mother worked at numerous jobs to help pay the bills. She sold Avon products and the World Book and worked at Blue Cross and Blue Shield. She lived her whole life never wasting time."

Mrs. Blair was a class mother and president of the St. Mary of the Assumption Mothers' Club in Govans. She also was a past president of the Stoneleigh Garden Club.

In 1964, her husband established Yorkleigh Contractors, a business that specialized in school repairs. Mrs. Blair kept its books for several years.

As her children grew older, she began to volunteer at St. Joseph Medical Center. She visited patients and their families in the emergency room and later worked from the spiritual care desk. She joined the hospital's auxiliary and became its president. From 1986 until 1987, she served as president of the Maryland Association of Hospital Auxiliaries - an umbrella organization for 64 hospital auxiliaries.

She gave her time for 35 years to the St. Vincent Child Care Center Auxiliary in Timonium and at Gallagher Services. She was also the 1968 Heart Sunday chairwoman for Baltimore County.

After moving to the Oak Crest in Parkville in 1996 after her husband's death, she became a volunteer there. In 2003, Mrs. Blair received the Renaissance Gardens Outstanding Volunteer of the Year award from the community's assisted-living and care center.

Mrs. Blair founded a group called Helping Hands to assist residents making a transition from independent to assisted-living homes. She also did flower arranging and belonged to the Memory Lane Singers, who serenaded fellow Oak Crest residents. She regularly attended Lions Club meetings.

She wrote for Oak Crest's newspaper Our Village Voice. Each month, she would interview new residents about their background and interests. She also participated in creative-writing workshops.

Last year, Mrs. Blair was honored a second time for her volunteer work at Oak Crest.

She and her husband enjoyed family entertaining that featured crab soup and crab cakes. They took their family, including children and grandchildren, on cruises to Nassau, Bahamas, the Caribbean and Bermuda.

A funeral Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. today at Oak Crest Chapel, 8801 Walther Blvd.

Survivors include three other sons, William F. Blair Jr. of Ellicott City, John T. Blair of Beltsville and Richard F. Blair of Albuquerque, N.M.; three daughters, Laura A. Manfuso of Timonium, Mary Spangler-Blair of Rapid Falls, S.D., and Margaret Mills of Dundalk; 15 grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters.

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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