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Army major general originally from Bemidji dead at 84

An obituary published in the Friday issue of the Washington Post newspaper, acknowledged the passing of Philip R. Feir, 84, an Army major general who was originally from Bemidji.

An obituary published in the Friday issue of the Washington Post newspaper, acknowledged the passing of Philip R. Feir, 84, an Army major general who was originally from Bemidji.

Feir, who retired in 1981 as deputy commander of the Fifth Corps in Frankfurt, Germany, died July 14 of heart ailments at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. He was a resident of McLean, Va.

The obituary, written by Bart Barnes, described Feir as beginning his military career in 1944 when he served in World War II. In 1945, he received an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

He was a varsity tackle on a nationally prominent Army football team that was led by Heisman Trophy-winning running backs Felix "Doc" Blanchard and Glenn Davis and coached by Earl "Red" Blaik. He graduated in 1949.

Feir commanded infantry units in the 1950s. After receiving a master's degree in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech in 1960, he taught at West Point for four years.

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He commanded an infantry battalion in Vietnam in 1966. He received a master's degree in international relations from George Washington University in 1969, then returned to Vietnam a year later as a brigade commander.

From 1972 to 1975, Feir was commandant of cadets at West Point. He later served as commanding general of the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord, Calif., before being transferred to Germany for his final command. His decorations included the Silver Star and Bronze Star Medal.

After retiring from the Army in 1981, Gen. Feir worked for a defense consulting company and then operated a financial investment management company. He had a beach house in Ocean City, Md., and played piano, gardened and memorized and recited poetry.

Feir was married to his wife, Mary Beiter Feir, for 50 years. They had three children.

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