On Thursday, October 7, 2021, Charles Jewl (“Bud”) Blair, loving husband and father of four daughters, passed away at the age of 91 in Altoona, PA. Bud was born on September 8, 1930 in Six Mile Run, PA to Clyde (“Shinny”) Vinton Blair and Virginia Louise Whisel. He attended Saxton Liberty High School in Saxton, PA. On March 12, 1952, Bud married Rose Marie Ditch in Winchester, VA. By all accounts, in finding Rose, Bud married well over his head. Together, Bud and Rose raised four unruly daughters, Beverly (“Bev”) Jane, Constance (“Connie”) Jo, Cindy Louise, and Dawn Marie.
Perhaps sensing the need to receive combat training to prepare for living in a household with those five ladies, Bud enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1948, attending basic training in Parris Island, SC, before being stationed in Miami, FL. Bud then deployed overseas where he fought in the Korean War. After the war, Bud was stationed back stateside in Miami, FL before being transferred first to Evanston, IL and then to Quantico, VA. Bud was again deployed overseas, where he fought in the Vietnam War. Following his tour in Vietnam, Bud was stationed back stateside in Oceanside, CA, where he served the remainder of his military career, retiring with the distinguished rank of Master Sergeant (E-8).
Following his honorable discharge in July, 1968, Bud moved his family back to his hometown of Saxton, PA, where he lived quietly with his family for the remainder of his life. Bud’s exemplary service to his country was almost matched by his orneriness. In or around 1960 (who can remember now?), Bud brought home a raccoon to his daughters, who frequently dressed it up, pushed it around in a baby doll carriage, and even threw it a birthday party. The raccoon did not take as well to Rose, however, hissing at her and repeatedly turning on her kitchen faucet, eventually leading to its dishonorable discharge from the family. Later, however, Bud discovered that his daughters were still harboring the raccoon when he came into their bedroom one night and heard the raccoon snoring in a blanket bed the girls had made for it in their dresser drawer.
Another favorite story of Bud occurred in Oceanside, CA, where Bud, Rose, and the girls regularly visited the enlisted swimming pool after Bud got off work in the evenings. Because Rose couldn’t swim, she sat on the edge of the shallow end of the pool, feet dangling unsuspectingly in the water. No matter how many sentries Rose posted (turns out the girls were not particularly good lookouts), Bud still managed to slip unnoticed into the pool, swim the length of the pool underwater, and pull Rose in by her feet, much to her horror, as she could not swim. This occurred frequently. Bud was an equal opportunity teaser, however, as he once brought home chocolate-covered grasshoppers to his unsuspecting daughters. It did not go well.
If you ask around, Bud’s unmistakable and contagious laugh is likely the thing people will mention first. Whether he was goodheartedly teasing you or reveling in the sheer terror in the eyes of his kids and grandkids as he drove his old pickup truck far too fast over far too big of hills with far too few seatbelts, his joyful laughter was always the thing that stayed with you.
Following his distinguished military career, Bud began his second career with Pennsylvania Electric Company (“Penelec”) in 1971. Bud worked for Penelec for twenty years maintaining the boilers at the Saxton Nuclear Power Plant, before retiring in January, 1991. Bud enjoyed hunting, fishing, mowing grass, tending to the “crick,” and hollering at people for walking on his lawn. He enjoyed spending time with his family, watching football and baseball, leaving reunions early, devouring giant bowls of ice cream, driving way too fast, turning off his hearing aids for some well-earned peace and quiet, and being lovingly known simply as “Pap” by his grandkids and great-grandkids.
Bud was preceded in death by his father, Shinny; his mother, Virginia; his stepmother, Helen O’Neil; and his sisters Donna Foor and Lois Ann Ritchey. He is survived by his beloved wife of over 69 years, Rose; brother Clyde Richard Blair; sister Elizabeth Drenning; four daughters, Bev, Connie, Cindy, and Dawn; nine grandchildren, Jennifer, Jackie, Dustin, Norris, Tyson, Amber, Morgan, Kadyn, and Colson; and eight great-grandchildren (and counting).
A Graveside service will be held on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at Duvall Cemetery in Six Mile Run, PA at 11:30 a.m. with Pastor Tim McIntyre Officiating. Full military honors will be conducted by the Broad Top Area Honor Guard.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Bud’s honor to Six Mile Run American Legion, 141 Cold Spring Rd. Six Mile Run, PA 16679.
Arrangements by Akers Funeral Chapel, 715 Church Street, Saxton, PA 16678.
Semper Fi, Devil Dog.
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