2014-07-31 / Obituaries

Nolan B. Blair

Nolan B. Blair, a 20-year resident of Mariposa, passed away peacefully surrounded by family at home on July 25, 2014, due to complications of myelodysplastic syndrome. He was 79 years old.

Nolan was born on Dec. 31, 1934, in Bakersfield, and often remarked that, as a New Year’s Eve baby, everyone celebrated his birthday.

He began his working life at a young age, employed with many different jobs to help his widowed mother support his younger brother and sister. At the age of 15, he met the love of his life, Carol Lee Clark, on a woodpile near his Taft home. They married four years later and soon began their life together in San Jose, where Nolan graduated from San Jose State and began his 30-year career as a health inspector for the city. During this time, Nolan and Carol Lee also raised their four children (three sons and a daughter). After retirement, he delivered parts for Stevens Creek Volkswagen until he and Carol Lee moved to Mariposa.

Once in Mariposa, Nolan was actively involved in SCOPE until the latter years of his illness. He was the Mariposa Grizzlies football team’s No. 1 fan and rarely missed a game, home or away, ultimately being inducted into the Hall of Fame. He also was a great supporter of his Mariposa granddaughters’ balloon-twisting business, and loved to attend all their public events to watch both Isabel and Ava work.

After Carol Lee, music was a great love in Nolan’s life. He had a beautiful singing voice and a natural ear for harmonizing. Over the years, he sang in many different choirs, both in the church and the community. In the 1970s, he was the lead singer and acoustic guitar player for a folk group called New Wine, filling the home with music every week. The family has many fond memories of this time.

Football was another love. He played center for the Taft High School champion Bobcats, defeating all the Kern County teams. As his best high school friend and quarterback remarked after his passing, “Nolan was the best center of all. We never had a fumble exchange. That says a lot about Nolan’s life.”

Nolan will be remembered for his generosity, his willingness to help, his integrity, and his quick wit. Those closest to him will also remember him for his similarities to his alter ego, the irascible Donald Duck.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Carol Lee, his four children and their spouses, Larry and daughter in-law Desiree of Mariposa, Russell and daughter in-law Valerie of Citrus Heights, Phillip and daughter-in-law Peggy of Round Rock, Texas, and Lisa Ramos and son-in-law Kirk of Mariposa. He is also survived by six grandchildren, seven greatgrandchildren, and his brother and sister, Jerry Blair and Claudia Slentz.

It was Nolan’s wish not to have a funeral or memorial service; therefore, none will be held.

Those wishing to contribute in his memory may honor him with a gift to the Mariposa County High School football or band boosters.

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