Where Food, Drinks & Stories Are Shared

Malcolm Blair

May 23, 1933 - July 3, 2024
Kalamazoo, MI



Friday, July 26, 2024
11:00 AM EDT
St. Luke Episcopal Church
247 West Lovell
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Web Site


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

American Heart Association / American Stroke Association Memorial or Tribute Donation
PO Box 840692
Dallas, TX 75284-0692
(800) 242-8721
Web Site

American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 22478
Oklahoma City, OK 73123
(800) 227-2345
Web Site

World Wildlife Fund
1250 24th Street, N.W
Washington, DC 20037
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

1830 S. Westnedge
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
(269) 349-4961
Driving Directions
Web Site

Taylor's Florist and Gifts
215 E. Michigan Ave.
Paw Paw, MI 49079
(269) 657-6256
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


When reflecting on the life of Malcolm Blair, it is easy to see both his strength and his love for his family. He was an example of kindness and hard work, and he was always willing to go above and beyond to serve others. Nothing brought Malcolm greater joy than spending time with his loved ones, no matter how simple the moments. His humility made a lasting impression on those around him, and he was dedicated to caring for his friends and family in any way he could. Forever loved, Malcolm will be dearly missed by those who knew him best.

The 1930s were a time of great struggle in the world. Economic depression was in full swing, and families all around the globe struggled to make ends meet. During these tumultuous years, however, there was a ray of light for William and Winifred (Newman) Blair of Swansea, Wales as they were eagerly awaiting the arrival of their first and only child. On May 23, 1933, they welcomed their son, who they named Malcolm, into the world.

Malcolm was raised in the family home atop a hill in Swansea that overlooked the beach. Malcolm’s father, William, was a captain in the army during and after WWII. Throughout his childhood, Malcolm attended local schools and found a deep passion for playing rugby. As a schoolboy, he played for the Welsh national team, and continued to play at university. He pursued further education at Bristol University, where he earned both a BS and MS in pharmacology. Malcolm worked his way to excellence in the field and went on to graduate from the University of Edinburgh with a PhD in pharmacology in 1961 as the first graduating class since the program was created at the University. At his graduation his diploma was handed to him personally by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, husband of Queen Elizabeth II.

All who knew Malcolm can agree that, of all the things he loved in life, he treasured his family above all else. As a young man, he met a woman named Avril Watts. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Malcolm and Avril were married on September 24, 1960. They were overjoyed to welcome their first child, Julian, into their hearts and home in 1964, followed by Lynda in 1965 and finally Deborah in 1970. Malcolm was dedicated to providing for his children. In 1978, the Blair family moved from England to Kalamazoo, and began building their future there. Later in life, Malcolm was thrilled to become a grandfather to Barry and Maggie. He adored his grandchildren and doted on them whenever he could. Malcolm considered himself blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones.

To Malcolm, his career was so much more than a job. He was very knowledgeable and well-respected in the field of toxicology, and his work contributed to many breakthrough products and drugs that could help others. Malcolm took pride in his work and one of his first projects that he worked on was a steroid inhaler to treat asthma. Malcolm was above all things very humble, he would never take well to compliments or go out of his way to talk about his many accomplishments, however his achievements spoke for him. Over the years he traveled all around the world to deliver lectures on various subjects. He found even greater opportunity in the United States. In 1978, he and his family settled in Kalamazoo so that he could work for IRDC, which is now known as Charles River. For a time, Malcolm lived and worked in Lima, Ohio where he acted as the COO of Springborn Labs which also became Charles River. Over the years, his career grew to impact the lives of countless others. Even after his retirement, Malcolm continued to work in consulting. Throughout his career, he was known for his strong work ethic and his meticulous attention to detail.

Never one to sit still for long, Malcolm pursued many hobbies to stay busy in his free time. He was an avid fan of rugby matches, and he was a vicarious reader of anything he could get his hands on, from research articles and academic journals to detective novels and historical fiction. Malcolm enjoyed going back to England from time to time. He took several trips to Chicago, and he was honored to be given a tour of the White House. Malcolm loved spending time with his grandchildren at locations such as South Haven and Disney World. He liked going out to eat, and some of his favorite restaurants included Martell’s, Fieldstone Grill, and Schuler’s in Marshall. Malcolm was active in his community. He served as president of the Oshtemo Rotary Club and was on the Oshtemo Police Budget Committee. He and Avril were also members of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. Malcolm faithfully attended St. Luke Episcopal Church, and he could often be found at the Gilmore Piano Festival.

On the evening of Wednesday, July 3, 2024, Malcolm Blair quietly passed away at home at the age of 91. Members of his family include his wife, Avril; his children Julian (wife Donna); and his daughter Deborah Blair-Krosnicki (husband Eric). He is also survived by his two grandchildren, Barry and Maggie Melvin (husband Stuart Melvin). He was preceded in death by his daughter, Lynda, in 2013.

Memorial services will be at St. Luke's Episcopal Church 247 West Lovell, at 11 am on Friday, July 26, 2024. Celebrate Malcolm’s life online by sharing your favorite stories and photos on his dedicated webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com. Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900