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Ina F. Blair

April 11, 1934 — August 15, 2023

Ina F. Blair

Ina F. Blair of Merrill, Michigan

Passed away peacefully, with her family by her side, on Tuesday, August 15, 2023, at Hampton Manor of Merrill. She was 89 years old. Ina F. Drake was born on April 11, 1934, in Hesperia, Michigan, to the late Jesse Leroy and Ida (Inniger) Drake. She attended various country schools throughout her life but proudly obtained her GED from Merrill High School. Growing up in a small community, everyone’s lives were often intertwined, which included the lives of both the Drake and Blair families. When Ina met the love of her life, Russell W. Blair, she knew he was the one for her. They dated, fell in love, and were united in marriage on April 23, 1955; he preceded her in death on August 23, 1982. Ina worked hard throughout her life, whether it be cleaning houses with her friend, Marcia, making crafts with Ginny, babysitting children, or cutting and maintaining her own yard, she always found value in staying busy. The role of her lifetime, however, was to be a dedicated wife, mother, and grandmother. A gifted and talented seamstress, Ina designed, created, and altered many dresses, wedding gowns, suits, and made beautiful quilts. She was a phenomenal cook, most infamous for her tater tot casserole, macaroni & cheese, and baking her dump cakes. Her little piece of heaven was spending time tending to her garden. When harvest season came around, Ina spent countless hours canning her tomatoes, beans, corn, and making salsa. She and the family raised chickens, teaching her children the value and appreciation for farm to table food. Ina loved shopping for good deals and took great pride in never paying full price for anything. She loved her children, but when the grandchildren came along a greater love filled her heart, making her feel whole and complete. She proudly attended every sporting and school event she could for both her children and grandchildren.  Though she was very frugal and economical, she will forever be remembered for her generosity to those she loved, for her loyalty to family and friends, for her ability to lead, guide, and make executive decisions for herself and the entire family, and for truly living an amazing life filled with many wonderful stories and memories.

Surviving are four children: Karen (Roger) Benjamin of Fowler; Ken (Vonnie) Blair of Interlochen; Steve (Jeanine) Blair of Freeland; Scott Blair of Indian Trail, NC; eleven grandchildren: Brandon (Shanna) Blair, Alicia Blair, Christopher (Jenna) Benjamin, Nathanial (Autumn) Blair, Laura (Zach) Lambright, Tonia (Carlos) Puga, Nicole Blair, Ashlee (David) Derscheid, Noah Blair, Hannah Blair, and Faith Blair; ten great-grandchildren; a brother, Glenn (Betty) Drake; and a sister, Mary Bolin. Also surviving are many nieces, nephews, extended family, and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Russell Blair; an infant son, Russell Blair Jr., daughter-in-law, Deanna Blair; siblings: Gladwin, Verena, Marvin, Margaret, and Wilma.

Cremation has taken place. A remembrance gathering will take place on Sunday, September 3, 2023, from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Merrill Wesleyan Church, 3765 N. Chapin Road, Merrill, Michigan, 48637. Interment will take place at Payne Cemetery, Perrinton, Michigan. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider memorials to Merrill Wesleyan Church. Please share your thoughts and memories with the family through www.casefuneralhome.com.

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Past Services

Memorial Gathering

Sunday, September 3, 2023

3:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

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