Blair, Mark W.
NAME: Mark W. Blair
From The Philadelphia Inquirer, September 14, 1995
Mark W. Blair, 51, a community and civic activist who had a shrewd knack for helping nonprofit groups and an expansive sympathy for some of the neediest people in the city, died Tuesday from complications of the AIDS virus. Mr. Blair died at his home in Washington Square West, a neighborhood he lived in for 17 years. He was president of the Washington Square West Civic Association.
Friends spoke of his many interests. In more than two decades in Philadelphia, Mr. Blair helped a raft of nonprofit, community and civic groups organize, strategize and get their financial affairs in order. "He had confidence there were solutions to problems, where normal people . . . would have said this is too complicated. Mark was the kind of person you would have loved to have in Bosnia," said David Fair, executive director of We the People Living with AIDS. When the Philadelphia AIDS Task Force was rocked by scandal (its former head was charged this spring with stealing from the agency), Mr. Blair was called in to help straighten out the nonprofit's books and its operations. When Women of Hope tried to move into his neighborhood, Mr. Blair helped to smooth things out between the shelter and the neighbors. He served for five years on Women of Hope's neighborhood advisory board.
As president of a consulting firm, Crossbow Associates, Mr. Blair was sometimes hired to help. More often, though, he helped for free.
Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Blair was part of a naval family that was stationed in various places before moving to Wisconsin, where Mr. Blair went to senior high school. He went to Knox College in Galesburg, Ill., and, later, to the University of Pennsylvania, where he received master's degrees in communications and child psychology.
Mr. Blair was a member of or consultant to the Avanti Theater, Buten Wedgewood Museum, Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany, Women in Transition, Friends of Curtis Institute, Friends of Philadelphia Parks, Philadelphia Refugee Service Center and the Spruce Street Singers.
Survivors include his parents, Willis and Mildred Blair, and his sister, Linda, all of Kenosha, Wisc. Memorial services will be held at a future date.
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Date of Birth: 12/6/1943
Date of Death (delete if non-applicable): 9/12/1995
Age at Death (delete if non-applicable): 51
Social/Political Groups he attends/attended: Spruce Street Singers, Avanti Theater, Buten Wedgewood Museum, Church of St. Luke and the Epiphany, Women in Transition, Friends of Curtis Institute, Friends of Philadelphia Parks.
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