Ranger Richard Blair – 3B
Richard W. Blair, age 83, of Brookings, SD, died Thursday, January 31, 2008, at Brookview Manor in Brookings. He was raised and educated in Volga, SD before entering the Army in December 1942. He served in the Darbys Rangers, First Special Service Forces, and York and Canadian Mountain Troopers as a Ski Trooper in the Paratrooper unit. He was discharged as a corporal from Darbys Rangers in December 1944. He served in Sicily and Anzio, and was a decorated World War II veteran, having received two Purple Hearts and other service awards.
Richard earned his bachelors and masters degrees from South Dakota State University. He worked as a microbiologist for 14 years for the South Dakota Department of Health in health planning administration. His career with the Department of Health spanned 32 years, and he served as Secretary of Health under three governors. After his retirement, he returned to Volga in the mid-1980s. Richard was a member of the Masonic Lodge, Elks Club, V.F.W., and American Legion. He was baptized and confirmed at First Lutheran Church in Volga, of which he was a member. His hobbies included photography, fishing and hunting.