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Vernon R. Blair

Vernon-Blair-Pic1Vernon R. Blair, aged 94, died February 27, 2014 at his home in Wickes after a brief illness of acute leukemia.

He is survived by his wife Marilyn; son Raymond; daughters Emiko and Julie; grandchildren Vera and Ross Blair and Garrett, Clint, Tyrel and Beau Hennings; and two great grandchildren.

Vernon was born June 3, 1919, in Ozark Township (Wickes – Grannis area) to William and Viola Blair.  He was the second of five children.

Vernon’s family traveled to Whittier, California, during the Great Depression. He graduated from Whittier High School in 1937.

Vernon served in the Navy in the South Pacific (Esperitu Santo and Ponam) during WWII. He repaired hydraulic systems on aircraft from aircraft carriers.

After the war he worked in the oilfields in California and other western states. In the 1960’s he helped pioneer drilling in Alaska’s Cook Inlet and Swanson River oilfields. Later he worked on the North Slope and Beaufort Sea areas. During his career in the oil industry he worked in Trinidad, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Gulf of Mexico, Colombia, Japan, Indonesia, China, and the North Sea off Scotland. He was considered one of the elite among offshore directional drilling experts.

After retirement Vernon enjoyed talking, ranching, politics, poetry, and his grandchildren. He attended the Cossatot Senior Center and enjoyed gospel singing and visiting.

Vernon has always been here for us. We will keep him in our hearts forever.

Arrangements are incomplete and will be announced by Bowser Family Funeral Chapel in Mena.

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