Helen Blair, age 95, of Corvallis passed away on Monday, September 27, at home.
Helen (her birth name was Ellen) was born in London, England, to father James Patrick and mother Honorah (Sullivan) Beardwell. She grew up in London and attended Catholic schools there, leaving to enlist in the English Army during WWII as a member of the clerical staff. She met her future husband, U.S. Army Sgt. Jack Duncan, while they were both stationed in Scotland. They married June 16,1945. Eight months later, she followed him to the U.S. on board the Queen Mary with wounded servicemen and other war brides (many with children). The brides were transported by rail from New York to their various destinations across the country to be reunited with their husbands. Helen arrived by rail in L.A. two weeks later. They had two children together. Jack died in 1968 and she remarried Charles Blair in 1975 and gained a stepdaughter. He passed away in 1977.
Helen spent her working life filling various positions in the medical field. At one point she worked for the South African doctors who developed the first open heart surgery.
Upon her retirement at 65, she moved to Philomath to be near her daughter. In retirement, she enjoyed volunteering at the Corvallis Art Center and the Cat's Meow thrift store. Helen was a member and president for many years of the Tea Sippers, a group of local British women who met monthly (pre-Covid) for friendship and support. She also enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles, and gardening and was able to continue living independently in her own home until her passing.
Helen is survived by her daughter Jan Wilson; son Christopher Duncan; stepdaughter Garnet Blair; granddaughter Tara Wilson; great grandchildren Kylee Parker (X Lanham), Jake Miller, and her great grand dog, Mr. Max. She is survived by her sister Margaret Ascott of Sittingbourne, England.
There will be a celebration of her life at some point in the future.
AAsum-Dufour Funeral Home is handling the arrangements (www.aasum-dufour.com).
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