Henry E. Blair Jr (Hank) – the smart dressed, hat-wearing, bingo-playing, coffee-drinking, world travelling Navy man, passed away on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. He lived a fulfilling life as a son, a brother, a soldier, a husband, a father, a papa and a friend.
Hank was born in Villa Rica, Georgia on October 24, 1937, to father Henry Eason Blair and mother Ruby Morris Blair. The youngest of four children, he left home at age 17 to escape his assigned chores, opting instead to enlist in the Army, hoping to “see the world”. Little did he know there would be far harder chores thrown at him in boot camp and someone always telling him what to do! Homesick, he called his parents trying to get out of his enlistment, but there was nothing to be done but see out the time. He survived that initial 4 years so well, he made the choice to join the Navy and went on to have a 30-year military career, which included serving in the Vietnam War. His desire to see the world came to life. Deployed up to 10 months at a time on various naval ships, he travelled across the US, throughout Europe, over to Asia, and down to Australia.
While home on leave in 1968, he met the love of his life, Sarah Mildred Pritchard. It was a whirlwind courtship - 3 months after meeting, they married on August 31, 1968. They raised 2 children, Angela and Jeff, and were together for 35 years, until her death in 2003. He was a man of deep Christian faith, devoted to his family and country, and proud of his service. Hank was also a long-time member of the American Masonic Society and Shriners, actively supporting their cause to provide care for children and families in need.
Hank loved his Georgia sports teams…from the UGA Bulldogs to the Atlanta Braves and Falcons, though he may have cursed the latter team more often than not! He shared his love of sport with Jeff, and throughout every season, you could find them glued to the TV, watching every game together. Always with a smile on his face and a peppermint candy in his mouth, he appreciated a good laugh, not taking life too seriously most days. In his later retirement years, he enjoyed spending time with his grandson Devin and with his group of friends, travelling and chasing bingo jackpots.
In addition to his wife, Hank was preceded in death by his parents and by his brothers A.B. Blair and William C. Blair and sister, Lucille Rogers. He is survived by his children Angela Blair Neri (Rodi) of Melbourne Australia and Jeffrey Scott Blair of Villa Rica, GA, and grandson Devin Scott Blair of Columbus, GA. His memory will always be carried in our hearts.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to the staff at Gentiva Hospice for their care and compassion over the last 9 months, along with family friends Marie Goddard, Pat Reese, and Kimberly Riddle, who loved and cared for him until the very end.
The family will receive friends on Wednesday, August 2, 2023 from 12:00 PM until 1:00 PM at Jones-Wynn Funeral Home Villa Rica Chapel. Funeral services will be conducted following the visitation at 1:00 PM from Jones-Wynn Funeral Home Villa Rica Chapel. Interment will follow at Melrose Hills Memorial Park.
Messages of condolence may be sent to www.jones-wynn.com Jones-Wynn Funeral Home Inc. and Cremation Services of Villa Rica is in charge of the arrangements. 770-459-3694