David Blair


4:30 pm - 6:30 pm
Friday, July 20, 2018
The Mather-Hodge Funeral Home
40 Vandeventer Ave.
Princeton, New Jersey, United States

Funeral Mass

11:00 am
Saturday, July 21, 2018
Princeton University Chapel
Nassau Street
Princeton, New Jersey, United States


Princeton Cemetery
29 Greenview Ave.
Princeton, New Jersey, United States

Obituary of David William Blair

David William Blair of Princeton, New Jersey, died on July 15, at the age of 88.

Beloved husband, father and grandfather, David was born in Santa Barbara,

California, October 5, 1929, and grew up an only child on his parents’ angus cattle

ranch in Wimer Rogue River Valley, Oregon. David was educated in a one room

schoolhouse and persuaded to go to Oregon State University where he earned a BS,

then on to Columbia University earning a Masters and PhD, all three degrees in

Mechanical Engineering, accompanied by several academic honors. David taught at

Columbia as a teaching assistant, instructor and associate adjunct professor.

Fresh from Oregon, David met Rosemary Miles of Brooklyn, New York, where they

were both studying at Columbia University. They were married in 1954, a union that

lasted 61 years until Rosemary’s death in 2015. In 1958, they moved their growing

family to Princeton, New Jersey, where David was a research associate at Princeton

University. In 1962, the still growing family moved to Norway for David’s

postdoctoral fellowship at the Royal Norwegian Council for Industrial and Scientific

Research. They left with four children, returned with five and were joined by a sixth

two years later. David worked at Exxon Research and Engineering in their corporate

research and government labs. Following a 14-year tenure in the Exxon Labs he

founded the company Princeton Scientific Enterprises, an R&D organization

specializing in high temperature technology with particular expertise in

combustion, high temperature chemistry, combustion generated air pollution, high

temperature energy transfer and energy conversion. He holds numerous patents in

this area. His company, PSE, received one of the first U.S. Army Ballistic Research

Laboratory awards for Exceptional and Significant Work Performed on th BRL

Mission. He was published widely on the subject of high temperature combustion


David served on Princeton Township Committee for a decade, the Princeton Civil

Rights Commission and many other community groups. He supported and

participated in his wife’s environmental activities and endeavors including the

founding of the D & R Greenway Land Trust in Princeton, New Jersey. He pursued

his lifelong passion to further just causes wherever the opportunity arose. Forever

proud of his roots in the Oregon mountains, David embraced Princeton and the

opportunities it gave his boisterous family. An enthusiastic conversationalist, he was

always ready to impart hard-earned backcountry wisdom on animal care, tree

felling, hunting, motorcycles, camping and outdoor endeavors of all sorts to his

friends, children and associates.

In 1962 David and Rosemary took the family and dogs on a road trip/house swap to

Nova Scotia, returning every summer thereafter and settling in Bayfield, a

community they, their children, and now grandchildren, hold close in their hearts.

One of David’s favorite places was on the deck overlooking the bay in Nova Scotia

with a Lamb’s rum in his hand. David is survived by his children, Karen (Tom) Horn,

Barbara Blair, Maria (Eric) Belliveau, Amanda (Peter) Nichols, David (Bernice) Blair

and Rachel (Terry) McGregor. He delighted in his sixteen far-flung grandchildren,

Ben, Amos, Kate, Henry, Philip, Willie, Lucy, Blaire(Kenny), Zach, Becca, David, Edie,

John, Norah, Sam and Charlie.

David will rest at the Mather–Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Ave. Princeton,

New Jersey. Visiting hours are 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 20. A funeral mass

will be said on Saturday, July 21, at the Princeton University Chapel at 11:00 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the D & R Greenway Land Trust in

Princeton, New Jersey.

Share Your Memory of