Blair Thrush Lele

Cell: +1 847 363 5436

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Thrush Family History

My family history has helped define the person I am today. Growing up, I learned many life lessons from the stories shared by my parents and grandparents.

On my father’s side, we are of German descent, having emigrated from Bavaria to Philadelphia in the early 1700s. When Johann Jacob Dreisch arrived in the United States, his last name was changed to Thrush. The family settled in Shippensberg as farmers but their entrepreneurial spirt gave rise to Thrush & Stough, a manufacturer of horse drawn carriages. Scarlett rode out of burning Atlanta in the movie Gone with the Wind in a Thrush & Stough carriage.

My mother is a McLean from Scotland; they came to Buffalo, New York by way of Toronto. My maternal grandfather, Hugh McLean, was excluded from the family lumber business and so his entrepreneurial spirit kicked in and he founded McLean Chevrolet. He was incredibly successful selling cars for over 50 years, lived a long life, and died at 92. My grandmother, Elizabeth, was a Red Cross nurse during World War II and then raised four accomplished daughters.

Born in 1927, my father endured much hardship during the depression. His father, who fought in WWI, died when George was only 11 years old. George started working odd jobs to help his mother support the family and then moved to Cleveland to live with relatives. He returned to Gettysburg for high school, enlisted in the Navy, and by the time he finished his training at The Great Lakes Naval Training Center, World War II was over. After attending Gettysburg Collede, George’s next significant career was with IBM; for 25 years, he worked in computer sales in the Armonk, New York office.

While at IBM, George met my mother, Mary. She had just graduated from Smith College and was the first female executive hired by IBM! They were married in 1957 and moved to Chicago where they lived at 4900 N. Marine Drive.

Shortly after my brother, George Herbert IV, and I were born, my father developed an itch to get into real estate. He bought two rowhomes on Belden Avenue, renovated them both, and sold one to friends for just $7,500.00. We lived next door in the other until I was age 12, and then we moved west to one of many Bissell Street apartments that my dad had acquired between 1968-1972. He saw the beautiful turn-of-the-century Victorian rowhouses in decay and wanted to bring them back to life.

As a child I watched my father build and renew over and over again. The process started slowly and then gained momentum as his belief in the communities he served evolved. In time, lush gardens were planted, older homes nurtured, and the neighborhoods came to life.

In my career in residential sales, my goal has always been to take my parents’ love of architecture, development and community to the next level, serving my clients with honesty, loyalty and passion.