We regret to announce the death of Richard Blair on December 21, 2022. Richard was born to David and Vivienne Blair in Glasgow Scotland, joining his only sibling Michael, on March 7, 1945. The family immigrated to Canada by ship in 1952. His first memory of Canada was the taste of fresh strawberries in Ottawa – a taste he never tired of. The family settled in Vancouver where Richard attended Magee High School, where he played rugby (his knees never forgave him), became a Queen’s Scout, took up skydiving (over 100 jumps!) and followed his big brother into the journalism field as a copy boy. This evolved into his first career as a journalist at the Vancouver Sun.
He entered UBC in 1963 where he spent the majority of his time at The Ubyssey newspaper, rising to the rank of City Editor by the time he met Fearon in August1965. He had barely scraped through his final year of a BA, thanks to working too many hours at that paper, when he and Fearon tied the knot. But for some reason he was admitted to law school – on the day after their wedding.
In spite of continuing to work two nights a week as a journalist he completed his law degree and articled with Clarke Wilson in Vancouver. The day after being admitted to the bar, they left to see the world, which they did in 19 months of travel, making many memories and friends along the way. They then settled in Kamloops, where Richard worked with Meikle Shupe Blair, then with Mair Jenson Blair, while managing to make time for hiking, skiing, cycling, canoeing, mountaineering, travelling, driving expensive, interesting and at times unpractical vehicles, as well as some back room involvement in provincial and federal politics. He also served on the Overlander Extended Care Hospital board as member and chair, and was involved in the establishment of the Kamloops Foundation, now known as the BC Interior Community Foundation.
In 1989 he joined the BC Randonner Club, a long distance non-competitive cycling club which led him to cycle around 6000 km per year for many years, including a number of 1200 km rides through the Rockies. In 1985 he and Fearon did another year long grand tour around the world, focusing on South America for the first 6 months, then cycling thousands of km in Europe, and stopping in various other countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific enroute home.
In 1992 he was appointed to the Supreme Court of BC, where he worked until retirement in 2013. He then became the first ‘judge in residence’, a voluntary position, at the TRU law school for 3 years.
Richard succumbed to dementia and spent the last 3 years of his life in the care of the wonderful staff at the Kamloops Senior Village. He leaves behind his wife Fearon, brother Michael and his family, cousins and their families in Scotland, his in-laws and their extended families across Canada, many long time friends which is a reflection of his many interests and pursuits, and Itsy, the last of a long line of dogs. He was a good man who loved his family, served his community, enjoyed his chosen work, and lived his life to the fullest.
He will be missed by many.
A celebration of Richard’s life will be held in the spring.
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Bruno (Pablito) Baumann
I regret that Richard has passed away last December. Too sad we did not have contact for many years. But I will remember Richard as a great guy with a good sense of Humor. We met in Peru the first time and did the Inca Trail. Met again in Bolivia where Richard helped helped out me with money, because of closed banks. I was happy to pay the money back we he visited me in Switzerland. Years later we met again in Revelstoke, while I was heli skiing.
All of those meetings were just great, we had lots of fun and wonderful discussions. I will always have a place in my heart for Richard.