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The Passing of Dan Blair, a Barnabas

“There are some people that make a difference in your life because of the relationship you have with them your whole life. He was the type of person that can make a difference in three months,” Ben Langford said regarding Dan Blair.

At 71 years old, Daniel (Dan) Blair died on Sunday, March 20, 2022, three months after moving to Edmond. In these months, Blair attended the Springs Church of Christ and began creating an entrepreneurship program at Oklahoma Christian University.

Langford, the preacher at the Springs Church of Christ, said Blair’s constant encouragement was comparable to the biblical Barnabas. 

“Barnabas was an encourager and Dan, well, it’s not an exaggeration to say that he was an over-the-top kind of encourager,” Langford said. “I think he felt called by God; that (encouragement) was his work. I’ve met so many students that he’s mentored and impacted in a positive way.”

Jaidyn Ahl, a student in Blair’s entrepreneurship program, said he was always available.

“From the second I met Dan, he was all about our entire project. And our project isn’t too exciting, but he thought about it 24/7,” Ahl said. “We could call him at any time, and he would pick up. We would call or text him asking, ‘Hey, can you have a meeting in our room in five minutes?’ And he’d be there before we were.”

Ahl also said Blair was not shy in talking about his faith and his mission statement was powerful.

Blair’s mission reads: “I co-create life’s music (both harmony and discord) with each person that God brings into my life to encourage them to accomplish the purpose for which they were created. I also take responsibility for nurturing these relationships, each and every day, into a symphony of life to the glory of God, alone.”

Corey Allen, another program student, also said Blair was encouraging.

“He said he could pick up on what kind of person you are in 90 seconds, and he said ‘I can tell, you know, you guys are good guys,’” Allen said.

Fellow student Dakiya Shaw said Blair hoped the program would help people find their passion.

“Dan said a lot of people are lost in this world because they haven’t found their passion yet, but with this entrepreneurship program, he really believed he could help change people’s lives and help them figure out what they really want to do,” Shaw said. “That’s kind of how Dan was. He just loved to help people.”

Jeff Dimick, a long-time friend of Blair’s, said Blair was all about helping people.

“Dan was really big about, ‘okay, what is it that’s unique about you? And how can I encourage you that so that you can live that fully?’” Dimick said.

Cameron Eischen said he enjoyed knowing Blair through the entrepreneurship program.

“There’s just something about how he talked to you and how he encouraged you. He was awesome,” Eischen said. “Honestly, I’ve known him for a month, and he’s by far one of my favorite professors I’ve met here.”

Chanho Park knew Blair through Dimick and church.

“We went to church every Sunday and worshiped together and had lunch here (in the cafeteria),” Park said. “He’s a person who always says, ‘it’s really such a joy to know you.’”

Blair had also begun teaching at the Springs Church of Christ, Langford said.

“This was going to be the second Sunday he taught, and he was so excited,” Langford said. “So, when he didn’t show up to teach, we were worried because he doesn’t miss stuff. And he was so excited; the last thing he texted Jeff that night was something to the effect of, ‘I’m so looking forward to teaching this class. I’ll see you in the morning, Lord willing.’”

However, on Saturday evening Blair died peacefully in his sleep.

Paul, Blair’s son, concluded his obituary saying, “We will all miss his infectious laugh, his deep insight, and how he lit up any room he was in.”

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