George R. Blais, 81, of 65 Swanzey Factory Rd, North Swanzey, NH, and a longtime resident of Richmond, died Sunday August 13th 2017 surrounded by his family after a long and valiant battle against cancer.
He was born in Lewiston, Maine on August 25, 1935. Son of Joseph and Anne Marie (Gagnon) Blais. He graduated from Lewiston High School in 1954 and East Coast Airo Tech in 1959 as an airplane mechanic.
Mr. Blais served 3 ½ years in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II where he used his fluent French language for interpreting services and worked as a heavy equipment mechanic. He spent 3 years in France and later Germany where he met and married his wife Helena Boessenecker. George was honorably discharged at the rank of Corporal E-4.
After leaving military service, George and his wife first moved to Maine near his family and then to Troy NH when he obtained a position for Bowman Flying Service at the Keene Airport as a mechanic and certified government I.A. From 1960-1966.
The Blais Family resided for nearly 40 years in Richmond, NH. They owned and operated the Richmond-4-Corners-Store from 1964-1972. During that time, Mr. Blais also worked as an electrician for Arnold Bailey and drove the school bus route for Fitzwilliam and Richmond.
George was proud of his service as a selectman, planning board member, and former fire chief of the fire department for the Town of Richmond. Many of his friends fondly referred to him as the “Mayor of Richmond.” He was also a charter member of the Fitzwilliam Gap Mountain Lions Club, former member of the Keene Rotary Club, and a member and trustee of the Richmond United Methodist Church.
George secured his real estate license in 1966 and worked for a short time with HKS, Herman Schierioth before opening Blais Real Estate in 1972 and was later joined by his son Fred and daughter Ruth both in 1984. He received the designations of C.R.B (Certified Residential Broker), C.R.S. (Certified Residential Specialist), and S.R.E.S.(Senior Real Estate Specialist) from the National Association of Realtors. As a long time Realtor he served as President of the Monadnock Region Board of Realtors in 1978 when he was awarded Realtor of the Year.
George had 50 years of service with the Cheshire County Y.M.C.A. as an Incorporator, Director, and past President. He received the prestigious “Dickinson Award” in 1979 and the “Marty Fisher Award” in 2012. He recently served as a Senior Directors Consultant; advising the ” Y” on real estate matters which included the purchase of the new administrative office in North Swanzey in 2005 andwas one of our most active Senior Directors. For many years, George was Master of Ceremonies for Y-annual meetings throughout Cheshire County towns and at the Craig Dining Hall. His brand of humor and stunts like the “Blues Brothers” reenactment, with J.E.F.Craig, earned him legendary status within the association.
George was a handyman who loved to build and repair anything. He really enjoyed working in his wood working shop, and even taught his youngest granddaughter, a few tricks of the trade. He was also an avid hockey player, serving as captain of the Lewiston High Team and Second Team All Maine Center in 1954. He was also a long time tennis player and member of the Keene Racket Club for many years. George loved all sports and spent many days in his retirement kayaking with friends on ponds and lakes in the Monadnock Region. Above all in sports, he was a dedicated N.E. Patriots fan!
George and his wife, Helena, always enjoyed hosting many foreign exchange students from Europe, Japan, and South America and shared his love for foreign culture with all of his family and friends. He resided in the Monadnock Region since 1960. Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Helena, of North Swanzey; Daughter Christine (Blais) Ortiz and her husband Luis, of Longboat Key, Florida; Son Fredrick Blais and his wife Robin, of East Swanzey, NH; Daughters Ruth (Blais) Thompson and her husband James, of Dublin, NH, and Roxanne (Blais) Jack and her husband C.J. of West Swanzey, NH. His five grandchildren include Marissa H. Ortiz, Kyle F. Blais, Kali P. Blais, Scott C.J. Thompson, and Grace O. Jack along with many nieces and nephews in the U.S., Canada, and Germany. George is predeceased by his parents Joseph and Anne Marie; Sisters, Yvette (Blais) Ellis and Rita (Blais) Betts, and Brothers, Yvon Blais and Raymond Blais.
In keeping with George’s request there are no calling hours. A service will be held at the Richmond Community United Methodist Church on Rte. 119 in Richmond, NH on Friday September 1st at 3pm. All are invited. Burial will be privately in the family lot with military honors at a later date in the South Cemetery, Richmond. The family has asked in lieu of flowers that contributions can be made in memory of George R. Blais to: The Cheshire Y.M.C.A campership program, 32 Lake Street, North Swanzey, NH. 03431, The Richmond Fire Department or the Richmond Community Methodist Church, 11 Fitzwilliam Rd. Richmond, NH 03470. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH 03431.