W. Robert Blair II, 83, former Illinois House speaker

Opinion: Obituaries

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W. Robert Blair II, 83, of Chicago and formerly of Sarasota, Fla., and Somomauk, died Jan. 18, 2014.

Mr. Blair was born Oct. 22, 1930. He was an attorney who had his own private practice after serving as house counsel and 

assistant to the president of Swift and Company. A former lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, Mr. Blair served as a judge advocate general in Amarillo, Texas, and at Chanute Air Force Base in downstate Rantoul.

He also served in the Illinois House of Representatives, where he rose to the position of speaker of the house. He was also chairman of the Illinois Transportation Study Commission.

Mr. Blair was the husband of Rozanne M. Blair (nee Leszko); the father of Steven Blair, Mark Blair, Susan Blair, Jeannine (Jacques) Fleurant, Sandy (Brian) Bakalich, Jennifer (Joe Coppolillo) Joyce, Kevin (Jennifer) Joyce, Christopher (Kelly) Joyce and the late Warren Joyce Jr.; the grandfather of Brendon Joyce, Alexandra Bakalich, Olivia Joyce, Rachel Bakalich, Collin Joyce and Gavin Joyce; and the brother of James (Linda) Blair.

A funeral Mass was celebrated on Jan. 23 at St. Louise de Marillac Church in LaGrange Park. Interment was private.

Hitzeman Funeral Home, Brookfield, handled arrangements.

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