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Rob Blair


1943 - 2015
Rob Blair Obituary
Rob Blair passed away on February 26, 2015, while Nordic skiing. He was 71 years old.

Robert (Rob) William Blair, Jr. was born in Bossier City, LA, on November 28, 1943, to parents, Robert and Margaret MacLeod Blair. He received his BS degree in geology and a single-engine plane pilot's license at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM. He married Patricia (Pat) E. Roberts on June 11, 1966, in Los Alamos, NM. After serving two years in the US Navy at Great Lakes, IL, he worked with Petro-Nuclear and the US Geological Survey in WY and CO. In 1968 and 1969, Rob and Pat had two children, Kurt and Katrina. In 1975, he received his PhD in geology from the Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO. For 28 years he taught in the geology department at Fort Lewis College, Durango, CO. He has over 50 publications including 5 books, 22 peer reviewed papers, 2 CD ROMS's and multiple abstracts. These include: "Geomorphology from Space-A Global Overview of Regional Landforms"; "The Western San Juan Mountains, Colorado: A Guide to the Geology, Ecology and Human History Along the Skyway"; "The Eastern San Juan Mountains: Their Geology, Ecology and Human History"; "Development of Natural Sandstone Arches in Southeastern Utah"; and "Moraine and Valley Wall Collapse Due to Rapid Deglaciation in Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand".

In 1998, he initiated the formation of Mountain Studies Institute, which was incorporated in 2002 as a scientific research/educational nonprofit organization. He enjoyed mountaineering in numerous areas of the world (all seven continents), swimming (head of the Great Lakes Naval Training swim team), running (several marathons and traversing the Grand Canyon), and Nordic skiing (American Birkebeiner), photography (repeat photography), chess, horseshoes and especially internationally showcasing mountains as a natural open-air classroom and laboratory.

He is survived by his wife, Pat Blair, children, Kurt and Katrina Blair and grandchildren, Galen and Dylan Blair.

There will be a memorial service held on Saturday, March 7, 2015 at 2pm, at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Durango, 419 San Juan Drive. Donations can be made, in memory of Rob, to Mountain Studies Institute (www.mountainstudies.org) or Fort Lewis College of Durango, CO. (www.fortlewis.edu).
Published in The Durango Herald on Mar. 2, 2015
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