Landscapes 09


December 28, 1932 ~ October 5, 2022 (age 89) 89 Years Old


Blair C. Pascoe passed away after a brief illness, surrounded at his home in Sonoma, CA, by the love he generated and family he cherished to the end of his 89 years. Born in Coalinga, CA, at the height of the Great Depression and orphaned by the age of 11, Blair worked hard, reaped success and embraced the best in life, always with humility. He was a class act.

A 7th-generation Californian, Blair was proud of both his maternal and paternal roots. He was descended on his mother’s side from Cpl. Domingo Alviso, who in 1776 entered the Presidio in San Francisco with its founder, the Spanish explorer and military commander Capt. Juan Bautista DeAnza. On his father’s side, William Henry Pascoe emigrated from Cornwall, England, in the 1800s and pioneered his way to becoming sheriff of Nevada County, CA, before notoriously being gunned down by an outlaw in 1893 at the age 52.

Raised in Bakersfield by cousins, Blair found in Bakersfield Junior College an invaluable first rung into higher education, for which he was ever grateful. He ultimately transferred to Stanford, where he joined the Deke fraternity and graduated cum laude with an economics degree in 1954 and an MBA in 1959. In between he served as a finance officer with the U.S. Air Force in Norfolk, England, launching a lifelong love affair with Europe during memorable travels on leave. That affinity was put to excellent use three decades later, when he and his treasured wife Helen purchased a magical home perched above the Dordogne River in France, where they spent many of the happiest (and most delicious) days of their 42-year marriage.

Blair quietly, but determinedly, went about building a life that would honor the beloved parents he (and his younger sister Carol Staudacher, who died earlier this year) lost to illness very early in life. With the exception of a brief detour to serve as assistant treasurer at Boeing in Seattle from 1966-1969, Blair dedicated his career to Transamerica Corp., starting straight out of Stanford at a finance subsidiary in Los Angeles and ultimately joining the executive team headquartered in San Francisco. Ambition fueled his long, high-profile career as Senior Vice President at Transamerica, but it was Blair’s fundamental decency that made him a huge favorite around the iconic TA Pyramid’s halls until his retirement in 1993.

Blair loved a good joke, delighted without pretense in sharing special wines (most of all reds) and zealously followed his favorite sports teams – the 49ers, Warriors, A’s and anyone playing anything for Stanford. For years he could be found sitting in the end zone family section at every game, intently watching “his” football team through binoculars while his kids and their friends flicked chocolate malt lids over his head.

In addition to his diligent work ethic, Blair also knew a certain measure of good luck in life:

  • As a grade-schooler, he found confidence in an unusual opportunity to learn French Horn at his modest public school in Coalinga – an introduction to classical music appreciation that extended through many years as an avid SF Symphony subscriber.
  • As a kid without parents, he looked forward to escaping every summer to Camp Pinecrest in Cambria, where he found mentors who encouraged his progression from pre-teen camper to junior staff, ultimately ascending to rockstar status as camp store manager and purveyor of bubblegum, Hershey bars and Almond Joys.
  • As a lover of movies, Blair happily wound up getting a front-row seat on the industry as a member of the board for Transamerica’s Oscar-winning subsidiary, United Artists, right at the height of its moviemaking zenith.

Blair was reflexively generous and deeply loyal. He had an abiding desire to ensure that those he loved felt nurtured and protected. He will be missed every day by his wife Helen, daughter Brenda Lhormer and son Bruce Pascoe, his step-children, Leslie Smartt and Jonathan Dreyfous, as well as their respective spouses and grandchildren.

His was a life truly and beautifully lived.










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