Raymond William Blake of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, passed away at the age of 92 Saturday, June 18, 2022.
Born May 20, 1930, in Flemington, Taylor County, West Virginia, the son of the late Elbert and Marie Blake.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Audrey Jean Blake, son Donald Lind Blake, sister Betty Longenette, brother Gerald Blake.
He is survived by daughter Jean (Frank) Matchner of Monrovia, MD; sons Ronald (Debbie) Blake of Edgewater, MD, and Lindley (Linda) Blake of St. Cloud, FL; seven grandchildren, Jennifer (Stan) Bice; Jeff (Amy) Blake, Katie Balodis, Justin (Kari) Blake, Lindsay Hall, Diana (Isaac) Stanley, Walt (Rebecca) Matchner; sixteen great-grandchildren, Briana, Annika, Makaela, Joshua, Nathan, Christopher, Lilla, Gabe, Corey, Sophia, Caroline, Piper, Jade, Jace, Wyatt, and Aiden. Also surviving are brothers Gary Blake of Flemington, WV, and Mike Blake also of Flemington, WV, and many nieces and nephews.
Raymond and Audrey were high school sweethearts at Flemington High School. They were married May 10, 1951. Soon after in November 1951, Raymond joined the Marines and received his training at Parris Island, South Carolina. He was a Marine during the Korean War but was stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, where he moved Audrey and daughter Jean to live until his honorable discharge in November 1953.
Raymond and Audrey then returned to West Virginia for a time and welcomed son Ronald. They then moved to Maryland and welcomed sons Lindley and Donald. The family finally settled in Glenn Dale, MD. During their years in Glenn Dale, Raymond worked at Cafritz Iron Works until he retired in 1971 to focus on A&R Daycare which he and Audrey owned and operated successfully for over 32 years.
Raymond became an active member of Glenn Dale United Methodist Church. For many years he drove the Sunday School bus, worked with the Methodist Youth Fellowship, as a Trustee, helped to maintain the church building, and was involved in Glenn Dale UMC church life. He was a Glenn Dale volunteer firefighter. For many years, he enjoyed bowling on the church league on Monday nights. He worked with both the Glenn Dale Cub Scouts and Boy Scout Troop 1002. In addition to serving in the church and the community, Raymond enjoyed outdoor sports, including hunting and fishing.
When retirement came in 1992, Raymond and Audrey bought a small farm in Berkeley Springs, WV, complete with two ponds, a creek, a large barn, and several outbuildings. After the main house was renovated, they moved there permanently. Raymond and Audrey enjoyed attending and being active in the life at First United Methodist Church and making new friends. Raymond attended the “young” Sunday school class, those only in their 70s and 80s; and he became an active and favored leader in their exceptionally large church youth group. When Audrey passed in 2011, Raymond sold the bigger part of the farm, keeping 5 acres for himself. He built a small home using two 16’ x 20’ Lowe’s 2-story sheds, one for the house, one his for shed.
In July 2021, he was diagnosed with bladder cancer and was treated aggressively with a seven week, 5-days a week radiation ending in early November 2021. He experienced several complications after treatment. At the end of November, he would go to stay with daughter and son-in-law, Jeanie and Frank. Although he was able to go back to his “shouse” overnight only two times, he would remain with Jeanie and Frank.
Throughout his life, he was a bit of a character; and he had a bit of orneriness. He had many, many stories to tell. He ate dessert with his meal right beside the mashed potatoes and meatloaf. He loved apple pie, lemon pie, oatmeal raisin cookies, and chocolate covered cherries. He did word search puzzles and read his Bible daily. He loved his family, his extended family, and his many friends.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Raymond’s memory can be made to: First United Methodist Church Youth Group, 49 S Green Street, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411; or Butterfly Release Program, West Virginia Medicine Hospice, 2673 Davisson Run Road, Suite 201B; Clarksburg, WV 26301.
Friends will be received at Burnside Funeral Home, 607 S. Virginia Avenue, Bridgeport, on Saturday, June 25, 2022, from 12:00–1:00 p.m., where services will be held at 1:00 p.m., with Reverend Clifford Schell presiding.
Interment will follow in Flemington I.O.O.F. Cemetery.
Burnside Funeral Home, Bridgeport