Beverly Jane Blair, a strong woman of faith and determination, died on March 2 at age 82. She devoted her life to taking care of others, whether it was as a nurse or mother of four, grandmother of ten and great-grandmother of nine. She loved God, her family, golf and a good time.
She was the youngest of five and born when her mother was 40 and older sister was 21. Beverly was raised in the projects in Erie, Penn., where she shared a bed with her grandmother until she was 15.
While attending Academy High School, she worked for Grant's Department store’s shoe department. After high school, she turned her roller-skating hobby into a profession when she began giving skating lessons. After marrying Jon Blair in 1960, she worked as a bookkeeper.
The Blairs moved to Hamilton, Ohio, where two of her children--Marty and Lynn--were born. Beverly kept the neighbor's children and ironed neighbor's shirts for extra money. They soon moved to Newark, Ohio, where she had two more children--Patrick and Denise.
She joined a bowling league and took their four children to join them at the bowling alley. She later spent quality time with her children on the golf course.
Shortly after moving to Nashville, Tenn., in 1969, the mother of four attended college at night, studying at MTSU for her basic classes and UT-Nashville for her nursing classes from 1972-74. She would frequently find a quiet spot to study while watching her children's sporting events.
After graduating with honors, she became a registered nurse and worked on the night shift at St. Thomas Hospital’s surgery floor. A year later, she was named head nurse on the cardiology floor.
The oncology doctors were so impressed with her skills that they asked her to help establish the Oncology Unit in 1980. She became oncology-certified and worked there until 1986, when they moved to Fairfield, Ohio, for Jon’s job. Beverly administered chemo to patients at Mercy Hospital until 1995, when Jon retired and they returned to Nashville.
She raised her four children to have a strong sense of faith and obligation to give back to others. Like her, they have very strong personalities and are never afraid to speak their minds. She loved all her children equally but differently. She always said, "I'm glad we don't have to say out loud who my favorite is." She even received fourkitchen towels with that saying from her children on her 80th birthday during their unforgettable river cruise in France.
She was a natural caregiver, whether it was nurturing and spoiling her family or taking care of her patients, family, friends, or neighbors. She truly believed that giving was better than receiving and was known for her generosity, especially at Christmas. She usually picked up the dinner check before others could realize it had been placed on the table.
Beverly continued to work as a nurse and was a medical volunteer for children's camps and Vince Gill Golf Tournaments. She went on eight medical missions to Haiti with her daughter, granddaughter and grandson. She also helped with multiple fund raisers for St. Ignatius and Haiti.
She was a founder’s club, season-ticket holder of the Tennessee Titans and her tail-gaiting skills were epic. Her deviled eggs were always a must at every family function, party and Titans celebration. She proudly attended the Titans Super Bowl appearance in 2000, but was equally an enthusiastic fan at her grandchildren's sporting events.
Beverly faced her greatest challenge when her husband of 48 years, Jon, died in 2008, but she found strength in her faith and family and continued to lead a rich and full life. She loved socializing with friends, whether it was playing golf or cards, dining out or taking a road trip.
She moved to the Villages near Orlando, FL., in 2013 and enjoyed the warm weather and time with her transplanted Tennessee friends. In June 2020, she returned to Tennessee to be closer to her family, much to her family's delight. She lived with her daughter Denise in Adams and spent time working puzzles, playing cards, watching The Incredible Dr. Pol, eating out, socializing, attending bonfires and creating precious memories with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She led a fascinating life full of challenges, but she never stopped laughing every step of the way. She provided a tremendous example of the way to lead a well-rounded, satisfying life of faith, family, friends and service. Her final gift of service was to donate her body to science for medical research, training, or special needs like forensic testing through the Vanderbilt Anatomical Donation Program.
She is survived by sons Marty Blair (Lucy) and Patrick Blair (Beverly); daughters Lynn Anton (Greg) and Denise Oram (Mickey); grandchildren Daniel (Kristen), Ryan (Oceanea), Erin (OllieJohn), Kara (Justin), Blair (Dave), Jessica (TJ), Angela (Coop), Cody, Casey (Daisy), Tyler; and great-grandchildren Bailey (Alex), Charlie, Lucy, Zoey, Emma, Everleigh, Sammy, Andy, and Ayla.
A Memorial Mass will be held at St. Henry Church, 6401 Harding Pike, Nashville, TN 37205, at 1 pm Saturday, March 20. A reception will follow at the home of Marty and Lucy Blair.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to: Melissa’s Place, an orphanage in Haiti athttps://www.melissaplace.org/