Rita Blair

Published 1:00 pm Friday, January 12, 2024

Rita Blair

Feb. 17, 1935–Jan. 7, 2024


Rita Blair, 88, of Ironton, passed away peacefully Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024, surrounded by loved ones. Rita was born in Lawrence County, on Feb. 17, 1935 to her late parents; Harold W. Shafer and Rose (Haas) Shafer.

Rita was a 1951 graduate of Ironton High School and earned her Associate’s Degree from Ohio University in 1977, a very proud moment for her.

She lovingly and independently lived her entire life in Ironton, a town she loved dearly, while raising four children. And, she accomplished this by enjoying a variety of jobs, supplementing her income by becoming a local entrepreneur, or as she described herself, “a Rummage Executive.”

Retiring from Ashland Oil in 1998, she held a variety of positions over her lifetime and many local recognizable companies, Henrites, Carlyle Tile, Curt Schafer Motors, Littons, Mearans and most recently Cato, from which she retired only three years ago at the young age of 85.

If you didn’t know Rita from her Cato days, you may have met her at Kingsbury School where she was an aide/frequent volunteer at school, also working at the voting polls there for years.

Or perhaps you or a loved one purchased an item from one of her hundreds of yard sales over the years.

This was prior to reality TV shows which promoted small entrepreneurs who would “flip” household goods and furniture. She made a business of purchasing from estate sales and reselling.

Rita had two all-time favorite events, the annual Memorial Day Parade and Halloween. The former doubled as a family and friends annual reunion as folks would gather on her yard and front porch on the parade route and stay later for hot dogs and hamburgers.

Her love for Halloween could be seen through her elaborate Halloween decorations and light displays which were often featured by the local media.

She was always busy and ready to assign a task to those of use who did not appear busy enough. It was how she “rolled” throughout her entire life and her loved ones grew to appreciate her constant attention to priorities and her detail to attention.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her children, Rae Ann Blair and Jack Andrew “Andy Blair”; her grandson, Christopher Blair; and her sister, Mary McMackin.

Those left to cherish her memory are her son, Rick (Debra) Blair, of Corolla, North Carolina; her grandchildren, Hayley Blair of Ironton, Aiden Blair, of Coal Grove, Demi Eicher, of Ironton, Ashley Lynn (Blair) Cooper, of Lenoir City, Tennessee; her great-grandchildren, Leah and Jack Blair, of Nashville, Tennessee, Jon, Weston, and Maxwell Cooper, Quinn Nethercutt; her siblings; Tom (Becky) Shafer, of Phoenix, Arizona, and Carolyn (Everett) Reeves, of Ashland, Kentucky; loving family member, Marcia Blair; and her loving friend, Jay Nance. In addition, Rita is survived by her adorable dog, Artie, whose companionship gave her much happiness.

The funeral service will be 1 p.m. Thursday at Tracy Brammer-Monroe Funeral Home, 518 S. Sixth St. Ironton, with Rev. Steve Harvey officiating. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until the time of service.

Burial will be in Woodland Cemetery following the service.

Please visit www.tracybrammerfh.com to offer condolences to the family.

The family has requested that remembrances be made in the form of contributions to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.