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Mr. William E. Blair, 77, lifelong resident of Bradleyville, Mo., died Wednesday, April 13, 2011 in the Heart of the Ozarks Healthcare Center, Ava, Mo.
Visitation was at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 16, followed by funeral services at 11 a.m. in the New Mansion General Baptist Church, Bradleyville, with Pastors Vernon Fuller, Don Brynildson and Jeff Marsh officiating. Burial was in the New Blair Cemetery, Bradleyville.
William Edward Blair was born Thursday, Oct. 26, 1933 in Bradleyville, Mo., to Ernest Lowell and Ruth Clara (Albright) Blair. He attended school in Bradleyville.
His family moved west to Yakima, Wash., to work in the fields harvesting fruit. During that time he met Gayle Godfrey in Union Gap, Wash. After a short dating period, they were married. on Sept. 26, 1952 in Harrison, Ark. He and Gayle stayed in Bradleyville and Bill worked in the local timber mills cutting staves.
He started his own sawmill, Blair’s Cedar Saw Mill which his sons operate to this day. He also drove a school bus for the Bradleyville Schools and he owned and operated Blair’s Grocery for many years.
He then opened Billy Jacks Convenience Store which he had for 35 years. He retired in 2007.
Bill enjoyed deer and elk hunting, bass fishing and watching classic TV westerns. He was especially fond of watching country music videos on the CMT channel.
Bill had the gift of gab and could hold a conversation with anyone. He had a very caring and giving nature, and would give the shirt off his own back to anyone of need and did so many times. He was known by all as Billy Jack, after purchasing and wearing a hat made famous by the 1971 movie of the same name.
He was of the Nazarene faith. Most of all he was a loving husband, father, grandfather and, friend to all.
He is survived by his wife, Gayle Blair, of Bradleyville; two sons, Mike Blair and wife, Vicki, Tim Blair and wife, Ann, of Bradleyville; two daughters, Vicki Burkhart and husband, Denny, Gina Norwine and husband, Mark of Bradleyville; eight grandchildren, Brandon Burkhart, Aaron and Derek Blair, Brooke McHaffie, Nick and Savannah Norwine, Dusty and Dillon Gross; eight great-grandchildren, Caleb, Trever, Layla and Noah Blair, Taylor, Trent, Dawson and Sawyer McHaffie.
He is preceded in death by his parents; paternal grandparents, William and Elizabeth Blair; maternal grandparents, Edd and Mabel Albright.
Memorials in memory of William “Billy Jack” Blair may be made to the New Blair Cemetery, 200 Staten Rd., Bradleyville, MO 65614.
Arrangements were under the direction of the Kissee-Schofield-Eakins Funeral Home, Forsyth.