|Rolland P. Blair, 84, of Galesburg, died at 8 p.m. Thursday, August 15, 2013 at Seminary Manor.
He was born July 12, 1929 in Monmouth, Ill., to Andrew and Nellie (Parsons) Blair. He was married to Carol Bodeen on May 4, 1957 in Moline, Ill. by the Rev. Charles (Charlie) Willey. He is survived by his wife, as well as daughter Rhonda (Kevin) Morgan of Canton, Ill., son Randall (Sharon) Blair of Galesburg, Ill., and daughter Renae (Bill) Gagen of Dresher, Pa.; five grandchildren , Casandra (Darin) Cass, James Anderson, Jenna Blair, and Timothy and Emily Gagen; one great grandchild Madilyn Cass; and one sister Mary Alice (Blair) Welty. He was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers, Robert, Richard and (Howard) Roger Blair.
In 1994, he retired from farming outside Oneida. He lived for Family, Farm and Faith. Rolland was active in his church, headed a ministerial search committee and served a term as Board Chair at Knoxville 1st Christian Church. He was most recently a member of the Galesburg 1st Christian Church. Although it was one of the hardest things he ever did due to being exceedingly shy, he served as a Deacon and Elder to set an example for his children and to guide them in their faith development. Roll loved music and sang for a time in the church choir and in the community-wide "Crusade for Christ" choir. Feeling that he "needed to amount to something," when given a task, he did his best to complete it. He had very high standards and principles, and would not allow profanity or fighting within his household. His Irish humor came out in subtle ways, such as good-natured pranks on his siblings and children. He was proud that Marion Morrison (John Wayne) was his 3rd cousin. But he was most proud of his children. Although his formal education ended with 8th grade in the one room Burnside school house, Education was especially important to him. He took pride in seeing each of his children graduate from college and go on to become leaders in their chosen professions. Also, to have each child become leaders and role models in their churches gave him reason to feel that he and Carol had raised a good family.
Funeral services will be 10 AM Wednesday August 21, 2013 at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Chapel in Galesburg. Visitation will be from 5-7 PM Tuesday evening at the Galesburg Chapel. Burial will be in Knoxville Cemetery Knoxville, Ill.
Memorials will go towards a fund for books and educational materials for nursing students at Carl Sandburg College.