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Obituary Greeneville Sun

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Dorothy "Dottie" Kathryn Burgess Blair, formerly of Greeneville, Tenn., passed away on May 22 at the retirement center Park Point Village in Rock Hill. Three weeks later she would have celebrated her 97th birthday.

Dottie was born June 12, 1918, in Glen Moore, Pa., the youngest of the nine children of Arthur and Ella Gaugler Burgess.

Dottie began her elementary school education in a one-room schoolhouse and went on to take valedictorian honors from Downingtown High School in 1936.

She married Marcus Hopkins Blair Jr., of West Orange, N.J., in 1943, and together they served as missionaries in Haiti with the West Indies Mission for four years (1944-48).

The Blairs then settled in Tennessee, where Mark Blair was involved with Children's Bible Mission and familiarly known as "The Bible Story Man" in Greene County Schools in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Dottie returned to college and earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Tusculum College in 1962.

The following year she taught at what was then Mosheim High School. Then she began an 18-year career at Highland Elementary School in Greeneville, teaching third-graders from 1964-1982.

After Dottie's retirement, the Blairs moved to Waxhaw, N.C., where they were very active with JAARS, an affiliate of Wycliffe Bible Translators.

From 1983-2002 she was involved in the creation and design of many of the exhibits at the Alphabet Museum at JAARS, where she gave tours when the museum opened.

Dottie had been a resident at Park Pointe Village since 2001. She enjoyed teaching, traveling and flowers. She had an avid interest in the wild flowers of Eastern Tennessee and gave lectures about them.

She was a member of Westminister Presbyterian Church in Rock Hill and previously of First Baptist Church in Greeneville, where she taught Sunday School and sang in the choir.

She was preceded in death by her husband: Marcus H. Blair Jr. (1917-2000), and a son: Marcus Allen Blair (1954-1977); her parents; four sisters: Beatrice, Margaret, Cordelia and Hannah; and four brothers: John, Arthur, Oliver and Lawrence.

The memorial service was held at Park Pointe Village on Tuesday, May 26, with Chaplain Randy Wright officiating.

Her cremains will be buried in the family plot at the GreeneLawn Memory Gardens in Greeneville.

See complete obituary in the Greeneville Sun.

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