by Kathy Brockman

There probably aren't many people who are blind or visually impaired who did not know Adrian DeBlaey. He has been a member of the Badger Association since the 1950s and served in many capacities.

Adrian DeBlaey passed away in his sleep on Jan. 7, 2006 at his home in Madison. He was born on Sept. 28, 1931 in Janesville, Wis., the son of Adrian and Margaret DeBlaey. He graduated from the Wisconsin School for the Visually Handicapped in Janesville in 1950. Later he obtained degrees in mathematics and physics from Platteville State Teachers College. He then taught at the Maryland School for the Blind for four years. In 1958 he returned to Wisconsin, where he held several positions with the State of Wisconsin Bureau for the Blind in Ashland and Madison. Adrian also held management positions at the old Wisconsin Workshop for the Blind (now Wiscraft) from 1973 until 1977, when he was employed at the Badger Association.

Prior to Adrian's retirement in 1985, he served as the business manager (now known as the executive director) of the Badger Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired. He served on the board of directors and was president from 1976 until 1983. Adrian served on other committees, including the one in charge of the association's 75th anniversary celebration.

He was an active member of several local, state, and national organizations of the blind where he contributed countless hours of volunteer service. These include being a past president of the Midwest Association for the Blind and the Wisconsin Council of the Blind. Adrian was also a life member and former board member of the American Council of the Blind. He provided valuable service as a member of the board of publications for several years.

Adrian was known for his storytelling and could give details word for word. He had a quick mind for facts, including an extensive history of blindness. He had a huge music collection and was an avid fan of jazz and old-time music. Many of us have heard stories about Virginia and Adrian's terrier, Duffy. In addition, Adrian developed a love for cats that included AJ, who joined their family about a year ago.

Adrian is survived by his wife Virginia, sister Arlene (Vernon) Hoffman of Janesville, and niece Marie (Larry) Koch of Madison. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother Leslie. A memorial service was held in Madison on Jan. 11, 2006. About 150 friends and family members attended to express their sympathy and reminisce about Adrian's life. Donna Seliger, ACB secretary, made the trip from Des Moines to express the sympathy of many ACB members.

Adrian will be missed by many, and we extend our sympathy to his family and many friends.

Remembering Adrian DeBlaey

Adrian was a kind person and a great advocate for blind people. He will be missed by many throughout the country.

-- Melanie Brunson, Executive Director, American Council of the Blind, Washington, D.C.

Adrian was on the BOP for several years, though we didn't have occasion to know him very well. I think his health problems were becoming so numerous and hard to live with that this may be a merciful outcome. He will be revered for his many long years of ACB involvement.

-- Winifred Downing, San Francisco, Calif.

I am sad to hear about Adrian's death. I knew him when he was a member of the board of publications. Always a gentleman, and always fair- minded, he worked tirelessly to make life better for blind and visually impaired people in his state and across the country. I know that I join many who are sad to learn of his passing.

-- Penny Reeder, Montgomery Village, Md.

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