James a Blaser, 92, former director of the D.C. department of Building and Grounds, died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease May 24 at Westminster at Lake Ridge, a retirement home in Woodbridge.
Blaser was born in Rock Island, Ill., and graduated from Stanford University. He worked during summer vacations as a laborer with the Army Corps of Engineers on the Mississippi River.
After graduating, he worked for the Corps of Engineers as a civilian on projects on the Mississippi River in southeastern Colo. He worked on military construction projects throughout the southwest and designed the water distribution system for the Los Alamos project during World War II. He then transferred to Sausalito, Calif. After that, he became chief of engineering at the Corps of Engineers’ Okinawa district and later in Tripoli, Libya. After four years overseas, Blaser transferred to the Air Force to be deputy chief of operations for military construction in Colorado Springs.
In 1956, Blaser became director of the Department of Buildings and Grounds. He was advisor and contracting officer for the D.C. Armory Board on the design and construction of what is now RFK Stadium.
He retired from city government in 1969 and for the next ten years worked as a project engineer for Mill, Petticord ad Mills on several projects at George Washington University.
Blaser volunteered for Meals on Wheels in Alexandria, the pharmacy of Inova Alexandria Hospital and the Alexandria Library. He was a member of Pohick Episcopal Church in Lorton.
Survivors include his wife of 66 years, Muriel Shadford Blaser of Woodbridge; two daughters, Judith B. Blaser of Morganton, N.C., and Linda B. Baroody of Pittsford, N.Y.; four grandchildren; and a great granddaughter.