John Kenneth Blake passed away peacefully in White Salmon on May 4, 2014, surrounded by his loving family. John was born on Feb. 21, 1921, in Toronto, Ontario, to Major Frederick Herbert and Mary Annie Blake.
During his early years, the Blake family immigrated to the United States from Canada and eventually settled in Corpus Christi ,Texas. It was there, at the beginning of WWII, that John and his brothers Dick and Harry went to enlist in the military but were turned away by recruiters because of their Canadian citizenship. All three turned their sights to the North and enlisted in the RCAF, all three became pilots and were based out of England.
After the war ended, followed by a short period in Los Angeles, John eventually joined Major Blake in the Columbia River Gorge and settled initially in Husum, to help his father start Camp Columbia “Boys Town of the West” on Spring Creek Road. After the Camp was established, John moved north to Seattle where he enrolled at the University of Washington, majoring in psychology. It is safe to say that John’s love of all things purple and gold began there, as he would end up being a lifelong Husky Fan, especially when it came to UW Football.
It was also during this time that John discovered the game of golf and was hooked for life and loved nothing more than a friendly round, no matter if it took place at Husum Hills or the Old Course at St Andrews, Scotland.
While in Seattle in 1956, John met and married Dottie Keene, and he immediately became step-dad to her children Timi and David Keene. In 1958, he became a father again with the birth of his son Jonathan. John and the family eventually settled in White Salmon in the early 1970s, where John worked for United Telephone Company of the Northwest and retired in 1986.
John will also be remembered by family and friends for the baking of great loaves of bread that would lead to him authoring the book “Creative Bread Baking: How to Bake Bread Without Recipes”, but even more gratifying than this to him, were the smiles on the faces of his many friends that were the recipients over the years of his delicious loaves of fresh baked bread.
John was preceded in death by his mother Mary in 1932, brothers Harry in 1943 and Dick in 1986, father Major Blake in 1969, step mother Gladys Blake in 1992 and wife Dottie Blake in 2000.
John is survived by nieces, Trish Carlson of Carson and Mary Blake of San Francisco, Calif., his step children David Keene and his wife Wendy of Newport, and Timi Keene of White Salmon; son Jonathan Blake, daughter in-law Martha Blake and grandson Ian Kenneth Blake all of White Salmon.
John lead a long and amazing life and will be greatly missed by all that had the honor and pleasure of knowing him.
At John’s request there will be no services, but if you would like to make a contribution to honor John, it may be made to Heart of Hospice, 508 Washington St., The Dalles, Ore., 97058.
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