Memorial services for Ernestine Cliburn Blair were held May 14, 2023, at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Prentiss, with Bro. Wyman Mobley officiating. After the memorial service, a graveside service was held at Cliburn Cemetery in Silver Creek. Saulters Moore Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Mrs. Blair, 82, died May 9 at her home in Silver Creek, surrounded by her family. She was born on Jan. 17, 1941, in Lawrence County to Ernest and Ethlee Roberts Cliburn.
Mrs. Blair graduated valedictorian from New Hebron High School, where she also played basketball. After high school graduation, she enrolled at Copiah-Lincoln Jr. College (Co-Lin) and also studied at Mississippi College. Her family remarks that Ernestine had aspirations to become a teacher but being a newlywed, she chose instead to follow her husband in his military career. Her late husband, Harold, served in the United States Army for 23 years and was a member of the Medical Corps. After Harold enlisted in the military, Ernestine and her husband would find themselves living abroad at several United States Army bases over the next several years. Initially, the couple was stationed in Germany, where their daughter Mary was born; then the happy family of three moved to Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. It was while at Ft. Leonard Wood that Harold was called to serve in Vietnam, and Ernestine and young Mary moved back home to Silver Creek. After serving in Vietnam, Harold was stationed in Ft. Jackson, S.C., where his family would rejoin him before finally moving to Ft. Shafter, Hawaii, where their second daughter, Bonnie, was born.
Mrs. Blair will be remembered as having a gentle and nurturing spirit, always having a special place in her heart for the elderly as well as babies. Her children recall that several elderly relatives lived with them at different times through the years, receiving special care from their mother. An excellent cook, Mrs. Blair also had a passion for her flowers. She will be remembered as an avid gardener and that she especially loved roses. It also notable that the Dahlias for her father’s casket spray of flowers came from Ernestine’s own yard; those flowers still remain today, reappearing each spring as a promise of new beginnings. Mrs. Blair was a member of the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Prentiss, where she was active in Pioneer Service.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Ernest and Ethlee Cliburn; and also her beloved husband, Alvin Harold Blair, in 2012.
She is survived by her daughters, Mary Barnett (Jim) and Bonnie Toles, both of Silver Creek; sons, John Blair, (Cathy), of Atlanta, Ga.; and Chris Blair (Regina), of Crystal Springs; her sister, Jamie Cliburn (Kent), of Silver Creek; brothers, Glenn Cliburn (Roma), of Brookhaven; Roger Cliburn (Louise), of Raymond; and Solan Cliburn (Nancy), of Eufaula, Okla. The legacy of their Nana will also live on through her granddaughters, Brandy Rose Blair, Monica Barnett, Cassie Blair, and Skylar Blair.