Ella Bair was born on February 19, 1914, the daughter of John and Polly Watts Blair. She passed from this
life on November 17, 2003, at the Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital.
Being the second child in a family of 10 children, Ella worked hard to help with the rearing of the large family.
She was not afraid to put her hand to any task that needed doing whether it was inside or outside the home. She
was a pillar of strength for the family. Until her mother’s failing health required her to stay home, she would
sometimes go to help care for someone who was ailing or to do the household chores until new mother got back
on her feet after childbirth. Ella was always willing to lend a helping hand whenever she could.
As a young woman, she worked at Stuart Robinson on the NYA program. She would walk to and from – a
distance of about 5 miles each way. She never complained but was glad for the opportunity to earn some money
to help her family. She spent very little on herself. Her money went to buy whatever was needed for the good of
She always took pride in a job well done. She didn’t believe in “slouching” and took great pains to teach
younger folks, especially her nieces and nephews, the skills she knew. She loved children and always had great
patience with them. She was a wonderful story-teller. A winter’s night before a flickering fire in the “back room”
listening to Ella’s stories was a special treat to all the children who gathered at the old homeplace. Although time
spent in storytelling caused her to miss out on part of the conversation with the visiting adults in the front room,
she gained the children’s undying love. She would also gather her nieces and nephews and take them with her
to get the cow from the mountain pasture or to pick blackberries. She would later make the berries into pies and
led the younger helpers to believe that they were responsible for this tasty desert. Ella knew the value of positive
reinforcements without having to study psychology. Sometimes she’d gather together a group of children and go
for a walk on Sunday afternoon. She had no children of her own, but she was a second mother to her younger
brothers and sisters, her nieces and nephews, and any other child around. She was devoted to her family and
was a wonderful friend to all.
The talent that Ella most prided herself upon was cooking. She loved to prepare food for everyone and
continued to do so as long as she was able. Even then she would ask to make sure that any visitor who came by
had eaten. Treats of candy or fruit were always presented regardless of protests.
Ella was also an accomplished seamstress. She made clothing for the family and neighbors, and she loved to
quilt and embroider until her eyesight failed her. If idle hands are the devil’s workshop, Ella certainly did not
provide with him with workspace.
Ella was always a good person, but later in life she felt the need to make a public profession of faith and love
for her Savior. In October of 1994, at the funeral of her sister-in-law, Vera Blair, Ella went forward and told a
wonderful experience of grace and asked to join the Blair Branch Church. By a move and a second, she was
accepted into the Church fellowship and was baptized by I.D. Back and Allen Whitaker in November. Her heart
was overjoyed when another sister-in-law, Lois Blair, joined the Church that day and was baptized with her.
Ella enjoyed attending church as long as she was able. She had a beautiful singing voice and used it to praise
the Savior she loved so well. People often commented on how much they enjoyed hearing her sing. When she
become so feeble that she could no longer attend church, she looked forward with much pleasure to the visits of
the church members. Their visits would cheer her up so much.
The world lost a wonderful person when Ella passed away, but Heaven is richer. Near the end of her life,
when age and infirmity took its toll, Ella would say that she wished she could just go on to her eternal home. God
saw her suffering and answered her prayers. Although our hearts are saddened by having to give her up, we
know that she is now rejoicing with the Angels. We mortals can’t know what Heaven is like, but, if it’s possible,
Ella is greeting each new arrival with “come on in! let me get you something to eat.”
Ella leaves to mourn her passing, one brother: Lovell Blair (Lois) of Jeremiah, five sisters: Lizzie Campbell,
Nella Whitaker, Ila Adams, Minnie Blair, and Stella Mae Blair, all of Jeremiah, two sisters-in-laws: Della Blair and
Ruby Blair, both of Jeremiah, twenty-two nieces and nephews, along with a host of other family and friends. She
was preceded in death by three brothers: Shade Blair, Allen Bee Blair and Ben Dee Blair, three brothers-in-law:
Amos Whitaker, Finley Campbell and Arlie Adams, and one sister-in-law; Vera Blair.
Ella’s tired body rests in the Blair Cemetery near her home on Blair Branch, but we assured that her soul has
gone to it’s Heavenly home. We thank God for the privilege of having had her with us through the years. She
was a great role model for us all.
Written by the family of Ella Blair.
|The following prayer was selected by Lois Blair in memory of Ella
Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow
love; where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith; where
there is despair, hope; where there is
darkness, light; where there is
sadness, joy. O Devine Master, grant
I may not so much seek to be
loved, as to love; for it is in giving
that we are pardoned; and it is in dying
that we are born to Eternal Life.