|GENE FRANKLIN BlAIR 1953|
Born in New Hope, Kentucky on April 17, 1934. Gene was one of eight siblings. His tenure is well remembered for his numerous accomplishments in basketball, football and baseball.
As a freshman, Gene played Junior Varsity basketball and six man football, his talent was evident and he was quickly moved to Varsity during his sophomore year. He continued to hold key positions throughout his junior and senior years as quarterback. , starting guard, and starting pitcher. Baseball was Gene's first love, coached by Brother Carey(1951-1952) and Brother Chad(1953). During his years as pitcher, the Eagles earned State Championship Runner Up on 1951 and 1952, and went on to win the 1953 State Championship his senior year. Gene was selected to the All Tournament Team. St. Joseph advanced to Sectionals and was invited to the South East Regional Tournament where they lost in the first round against Key West, Florida. The Teams overall record was 52 wins and 4 losses during 1951-1953. Brother Charles, St. Joe's headmaster, said that winning the State Championship "climaxed the most successful year the prep had ever had". Amidst the enormous commitment to athletics at St. Joe's, Gene still had the time to serve as Vice President of his senior class.
Gene attended Bellamine College, in Louisville, for one year on a baseball scholarship. Later, he served as a Corporal in the United States Army for two years. After his service in the Army, Gene joined IBM Corporation in Lexington and married the love of his life, Mary Martha Whelan of New Haven, in 1958. Ten years later they relocated to Austin, Texas where Gene continued his service at IBM for a total of 35 years as a Procurement Specialist. He sustained his love of sports by representing IBM on their city league softball team and later pitched on a team with his children and led them through three successful city league seasons. Gene obtained his Associate Degree in Business from Austin Community College.
Martha and Gene have celebrated 50 years of marriage and are extremely proud of their five children and thirteen grandchildren. They reside in Round Rock, Texas and stay active supporting each of their grandchildren's activities. To this day, they enjoy yearly vacations to the beautiful state of Kentucky to visit family and friends.