Robert Wallace Blair: Leader, Mentor, Fan

Think of the biggest BYU Coungar fan you can imagine. Now multiply that by 6. You are thinking of my grandfather, Bob Blair, who is the most devoted Cougar football fan in the world.

Grandpa Blair passed away on Friday, after 11 years of dialysis, and countless “See you in the next life”s and “This is the last time I’ll ever see you”s. Every time I left for school, I said my last goodbye, and he imparted wisdom. And then he was still there when I came back! He was there for another concert, another missionary farewell, another birthday. He was my most devoted fan.


My grandpa was a man of great faith. He loved the Lord, and he served Him will all his heart. He and my grandma opened the Baltic mission, and presided in unity and love.

My grandpa never answered the question “How many languages do you speak?” but I settled on 45. He served his mission in Finland, he translated the Book of Mormon into Mayan, he spoke all the languages in his and my grandma’s mission, and he and my grandma taught English in Guatemala and China. He was told in his patriarchal blessing that he had the gift of tongues, and I always talk about him when I needed a Gift of Tongues story.


Although the last decade of my grandpa’s life was physically painful, he never failed to show love and interest in his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. We gathered every Sunday to eat and sing hymns, and he always expressed his love for us and the Lord.

Grandpa had lots of ideas about Education Reform. I hope to carry on his legacy as I try to do my best with my own students. I’m counting on him to help me from the other side.

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