Zatha Blair

Zatha Blair, 94, of Jefferson, passed away Feb. 9 at the Greene County Long Term Care Facility in Jefferson.

Zatha was the daughter of A.B. (Pete) and Pearl (Andrew) Gardner and was born January 29, 1920 in Greene County. She attended country school and then helped her father with farm work while the younger children went to school.

On March 6, 1943, she was married to Paul Edwin Blair at the Baptist Church Parsonage in Jefferson.  They had two children: Mark David and Elizabeth Ann. For 51 years they lived together on a farm west of Goose Lake, in Greene County, belonging to Paul’s father, Mark Blair, which they later purchased in 1974.

Zatha helped Paul with the farming and livestock chores. She raised large flower and vegetable gardens each year and canned the produce. She raised chickens to put in the freezer, making wonderful chicken and noodles. She also enjoyed quilting and “hand-stitched many beautiful quilts of which she gave away”.

Zatha was a member of the First Baptist Church in Churdan where she taught Sunday School for many years. She loved the outdoors, the cattle and her kittens. She enjoyed going to high school basketball games long after her children had graduated.

Paul passed away in 1994 and Zatha continued to make her home on the family farm.  She lived on the farm until 2011 when a broken arm in a car accident required her to have extra help. She stayed with Elizabeth while it healed and then in September, moved in with David and Linda. Years of arthritis finally took its toll and when Zatha was unable to get around on her own, she entered the Long Term Care Facility on October 30, 2013.

Zatha is survived by her son David and his wife Linda; her daughter Elizabeth Bertelli; friend Charles Boyajian, all of Churdan; grandchildren: Kelly Bird of Granger, Tom Blair (Nicole) of Ankeny, Matt Blair (Lisa) of Scranton and Carrie Michelberger (Eric) of Boone; 10 great-grand children: Brendan and Dylan Bird, Serenity, McKade, Gavin and Taylem Blair, Nicholas and Hailey Michelberger, Madison and Noah McNamee; other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; sisters: Marjorie Gardner, Zelpha Taylor and Lorada Custer and brothers: Clyde and Larry Gardner.

A celebration of Zatha’s life was held at 10:30 a.m. on Feb. 13 at the First Baptist Church in Churdan with Rev. Bobby Palmer officiating. At the services, Amanda Helms was vocalist, Renaye Lindgren was pianist, Rochelle Fagg was organist and the congregation sang, Great is Thy Faithfulness. Burial was made in the Highland Township Cemetery in Churdan. Friends and family were invited to a time of lunch and fellowship at the First Baptist Church basement following the graveside services.

Serving as casket bearers were Kelly Bird, Tom Blair, Matt Blair, Carrie Michelberger, Brendan Bird and Serenity Blair.

Brown Funeral Homes of Jefferson assisted the family with arrangements, 515-386-4125,

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Jefferson, IA 50129

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