MISSOULA — Mary Osie Blair, 98, went to be with the lord on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, in her home with her daughter Sandra and close family friends nearby. Mary raised her arms and went peacefully to heaven, as she said goodbye “I love you all.”
Mary leaves behind many loved ones.
She was born Aug. 6, 1920, in Astoria, Oregon, to Bernard and Sara Schaffer. She had two sisters, Pauline and Winnie, and one brother, George. Mary was preceded in death by Pauline, who lived to be over 100, as well as George.
Winnie, who is one year Mary’s junior, always competitive, has won this last final race and lives in California.
Mary married Wm. “Bill” Blair in 1949. Bill passed away in 2012 at the age of 92. They would have been married 70 years in June of this year.
Mary is survived by her children; Ron and Susan Isbell of Stuart, Florida; where they enjoy the sunshine and their love of many animals, both of their own and those of others. They have two daughters Mandy and Carrie. They all loved Mary very much and will miss skypeing with her every Sunday afternoon. Ron is an amazing artist and Susan a caring nurse.
Mary and Bill made their home in Torrance, California, where they lived until the late 1970s. While there they met the “Finley Boys” who were quickly recruited into the “Blair Family.” They have gone from teenagers to senior citizens but who can count the years with an almost 100-year-old “Real Lady,” as Kenny Finley recently referred to Mary, while Wayne and Jerry nodded their heads in sync; these “three sons” have many stories about Mary and she had so many more about them. They loved Mary and they will never forget her smile and sayings like, “That’s the way life is.”
In the late 1970s Mary and Bill came to Missoula to build the Southgate Mall and met Sandra Hickingbotham and her husband Howard. After only a few years Mary adopted or “recruited” Sandra as her daughter. Thereafter they shared all holidays and birthdays and yearly trips to Hawaii as well as daily life. Mary was the mother any girl could wish for…well as long as that girl could take the heat — that “Real Lady Heat” that forged a 40-year bond of love, tried and true.
Mary was amazing in many ways. Not long ago she attended a BBQ at the Hickingbotham’s where there were people of all ages including her treasured friends Milt and Roslyn Clark. When Mary got ready to leave, everybody walked around to the front of the house to watch with their own eyes, this little “lady” drive away in her red sports car, the youngest among them in awe. Her license was valid through her 101st birthday.
There are SO many people who Mary loved and touched that the list could go on for 100 years — yes Mary had a sense of humor we will all miss the Real Lady known to me as Mother Mary.
Mary went to beauty school as a young woman where she was known all over Torrance for her “finger wave.” Mary loved and adored her hair dresser Kerrie and her husband Wayne; Kerrie was magical in perfecting the most modern “bubble” Missoula has ever seen. Mary would show her beautiful hair-do off every week at five hour lunches with her good friend and neighbor Irmgard —they had stamina.
There will be a visitation and time to share memories — a time for a loving celebration of peace and promise for all to come before sending Mary off to California where her body will lay with Bill.
The family and friends would love to see you at Garden City Funeral Home Thursday Jan. 24, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.