Dianna Lea "Dee Gee" Blair

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Dianna Lea (Conner) Blair, known to friends and family as "Dee Gee," of Cherokee and formerly of Sioux City, died on Sept. 28, 2012, at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minn., following complications from surgery for esophageal cancer. She was 66.

In accordance with her wishes, the body was cremated. Dee Gee was buried at the I.O.O.F Cemetery in Indianola, Iowa. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday,

Oct. 4, at First United Methodist Church, Sioux City. Roger Madden will officiate.

The family requests that memorials be directed to the American Cancer Society or designated for cancer research at Mayo Clinic Department of Development, Rochester, Minn.

Dee Gee was born April 28, 1946, in Indianola, Iowa. She was the only child of Robert Keith Conner and Marcelene Mae (Patterson) Conner. She grew up in Indianola and attended high school there. After graduation, she attended Simpson College (B.M.E., 1969) and later in life, as a non-traditional student, the University of South Dakota (M.M.A. -- Organ Performance).

She married David James Blair on December 18, 1971, in Des Moines. Dee Gee was teaching music at Merrill Junior High School in Des Moines and was introduced to David on a blind date. She had previously been warned that David was a nice guy but prematurely grey. It was a case of love at first sight, a condition which lasted for more than 41 years. They moved to Sioux City in January 1972 after honeymooning in Scottsdale, Arizona. This took some getting used to for a central Iowa girl, but she quickly developed great and lasting friendships and appreciation for NW Iowa. While in Sioux City, Dee Gee taught music in the public schools and Blessed Sacrament School. She was an accomplished organist and musician. She directed bell choirs or played the pipe organ at First United Methodist Church, Trinity Lutheran Church and First Presbyterian Church. She served on the boards of Morningside College, the A.I.D. Center, Junior League of Sioux City, United Way of Siouxland and Mary Elizabeth Day Care Center. She was actively involved in Chapter IA P.E.O. She owned and operated a popular gift shop known as "Seagull Sam's" for many years. In later years, she worked as a sales representative for gift showrooms in Minneapolis and Dallas, making calls on gift shops in Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota. After moving to Cherokee in 2002, she served on the Historic Preservation Commission. Dee Gee did all of this work because she loved it. She made friends wherever she went.

Dee Gee loved the northwoods of Minnesota and spent many happy summer days there as a child and later with her husband and children. Her biggest, constant focus was her family. She loved watching her children grow up.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Dee Gee is survived by her husband David James Blair of Cherokee; their three children: Jennifer Lea Blair Carter (and son in law Scott Carter and grandson Jackson David Carter) of Minneapolis, Minn.; Elizabeth Eva Blair of Berkeley, Calif.; and Kathleen Conner Blair Hesseltine (and son in law Tyler Hesseltine) of Minneapolis, Minn.