My brother Blake was an avid hiker, kayaker, explorer, once hiking across the Isle of Crete with a backpack in just a pair of leather flip flops. While working at Safeway, he greeted everyone by name with a smile.
A gifted musician, Blake entertained family and friends playing multiple instruments. After graduating from Mt. Shasta High, he played piano with the COS Jazz and Vocal Ensemble. Blake earned a double major in Marketing and Music at CSU Sacramento, followed by an MBA in finance at UC Berkeley. He spent 2 years in Los Angeles at Dick Grove School of Music studying composing and arranging.
Wanting to provide life-long friends for daughter Amber, Blake moved to Ashland, OR where he taught music in the Medford School District. Later as a kindergarten teacher, Blake insisted on having a piano in his classroom. He combined lyrics he wrote with catchy tunes to teach social studies and science concepts. He enjoyed accompanying the Rogue Valley Children’s Choir during their rehearsals.
Blake retired after 20 years to pursue a ten year journey around the world. He was in his 2nd year of travel when he received devastating news that cut his trip short. Back home he bought a minivan which he equipped with a bed and storage. He made side trips to Utah, the mountains, desert and ocean, visiting close friends as he traveled to and from San Francisco for treatment. He participated in several clinical trials to help others with his disease. He passed away April 12, 2012.
His daughter Amber, sister Candace and her husband Tony McCann, niece Miranda and her husband Austin Wade and Blake’s dear, loving friends will miss that generous kind, humble, sentimental man.
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