Robert Herschel Blair
Robert Herschel Blair
  • April 6, 1935 - January 16, 2017
  • Longwood, Florida

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Robert Herschel Blair, Major, U.S. Army (Ret.), 81, a resident of Village on the Green in Longwood, FL, died of natural causes January 16, 2017 at Florida Hospital, Altamonte Springs. He was predeceased by his parents Dr. Russell and Solveig Herschel Blair, grandparents Col. George and Anna Love Blair of Drexel Hill, PA; his uncle and aunt Col. Robert M. and Rita Blair of Hawaii; his uncle Reverend Richard Herschel, and aunt Agnes Tanner of Drexel Hill, PA.

Born April 6, 1935 (formerly known as Army Day) at Ft. Jay, NY, Bob followed a military career path in the US Army that was set by his grandfather, father and uncle. His childhood years were spent in Philadelphia, Costa Rica, Hawaii and Germany. He was an avid sky-diver with over 300 jumps before he entered the service. At 17, Bob proudly enlisted in the Infantry and served from 1952-1954. He attended West Point, Class of '58, and later graduated from Temple University in 1960 with Military Honors to earn his Infantry Regular Army Commission. His particular interest was in unconventional warfare and he was proud of being a Master Parachutist and his status as an Airborne Ranger Special Forces Officer. After his first assignment in Korea, he served in Okinawa, WDC, multiple tours to Vietnam, Ft. Benning, and Ft. Bragg where he was medically retired in 1975 as a Major. Bob's awards include 2 Silver Stars, 3 Bronze Stars, 3 Purple Hearts, Air Medal, Combat Infantry Badge, and VN Medal of Honor.

Bob began retired life in Hawaii, but with an eye toward world unrest, he travelled to Rhodesia several times, working closely with the Rhodesian Light Infantry and the famed Selous Scouts. His work in Africa resulted in a second career with the Central Intelligence Agency, where Bob served in Costa Rica, Honduras, Bolivia, and Paraguay as a Paramilitary Operation Officer from 1982-93 during the Drug War years in Central and South America. He continued after retirement as a contractor, serving in many Latin American countries, as well as Egypt and Iraq. From 1993 until 2012 when he moved to Village on the Green in Longwood, FL in 2012, Bob lived in the NW FL community of Bluewater Bay in Niceville, FL. He continued to enjoy running, took up sailing as a hobby, and formed Blair Consulting, Inc., a security consulting firm with Latin American as well as U.S. interests.

Robert Blair is survived by his wife of 49 years, Anne Pursell Blair of Longwood, FL and his brother, Russell Blair of Longwood, FL; his nieces and nephews Anna B. Hanes (John) of Geneva, FL and their children Thomas Beau and Katelyn Anne; Laura Blair Gill (Darryl) and their daughter McKenna Dawn Marie of New Smyrna Beach, FL; Barry Steven Blair of California and New Smyrna Beach, FL and his family and Vronnie Duggin (Jim) of NM; his cousins Robert, Russell, Jeffrey and Greg Blair and their respective families in MD, FL and Japan; Bill (Anne) Tanner and their family of PA. Bob also leaves behind his brother-in-law and sailing partner, Scott Pursell (Esther) and friends at Village on the Green, his Comrades-in-Arms, and the many he has served with who have contributed to his rich and rewarding life.

A military memorial service for Bob will be held at Baldwin Fairchild Funeral Home at 994 Altamonte Springs Drive, Altamonte Springs, FL on Saturday, March 4 at 10 a.m. Interment will follow at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Dr. Russell Blair Memorial Endowment for Language Programs at the Culver Academies, 1300 Academy Road, #153, Culver, IN 46511-1291, Attn: Mike Hogan or to the Brede-Wilkins Scholarship Fund, 500 Village Place, Longwood, FL 32779. Further information is available at