Edwin Thorne Blake, age 87, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on August 17, 2020, in North Carolina.
Edwin (Ned) was born in LaJolla, CA, on June 27, 1933, son of Dr. Joseph A. Blake and Florence Drake Blake. He grew up in Litchfield, CT, and enjoyed hiking, rafting, and skating down the Bantam River. He loved the outdoors.
He graduated from Yale University in 1954 and earned a BA in English. While attending Yale, he was a member of the Baker’s Dozen, an acapella group where he performed at Carnegie Hall. He also was a member of St. Anthony’s Fraternity. Between his undergraduate and graduate education, he enlisted in the Army. He continued his education at Columbia University where he earned his Masters in Mathematics.
His career began at IBM in Fishkill, NY, where he was a programmer. Long after retiring from IBM, he decided to develop an iPad app that taught the fundamentals of Sudoku. He worked on this app up until the last few days of life. Programming was not just a job but a passion.
Ned met his soon to be wife, Katherine Cissel (Kathy), on vacation in the St. Thomas Islands. Their story began watching a documentary on local sea life while petting a stray cat. They later married in 1974 and resided in New Hamburg, NY. He was a proud and loving father of three children.
His children cherished family trips because they knew an adventure awaited, from taking a hike through the woods to sailing and snorkeling in the islands, seaplane trips, skiing, and tobogganing. No matter how big or small a trip might be, he made it into an exciting excursion. He also had the patience of a saint when it came to playing endless games of Monopoly with his children.
Ned had a spirit of adventure while sailing as well. He decided to sail his Ensign from NY to NC, which brought him to his next chapter of life: retirement in New Bern, NC. He was an active participant in the community in which he read to children at a local Elementary school, provided transportation for citizens who wanted to vote, and participated at a local sailing club teaching youth to sail. He was a voracious reader and some of his more unique hobbies included designing and crafting candle chandeliers that are patented.
Those who knew him would describe him as a gentle soul with integrity and a dry sense of humor. He was a man who was committed to his family and to those he loved, and who experienced great success in part due to his humility, loyalty, and respect for others. He was also devoted to his animals and has left behind his buddies: Jack the dog and Max the cat.
In addition to his loving wife, Kathy, he will be sadly missed by his loving children: Jennifer Hayes Blake of Greenfield, MA; Katherine Jamieson and her husband Hugh of Fairfield, CT; William Phipps Blake and his wife Angela Stewart of Pittsboro, NC; his devoted grandchildren Eloise Perrea and Addison Michael; and step-grandchildren Kyla, Ian, and Quintin Jamieson. He was predeceased by his brother Whitney Blake.
Due to COVID19, a service for family and close family friends will be held at East Cemetery in Litchfield, CT on Saturday, August 22nd, at 2pm.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Alley Cat Allies ( www.alleycat.org) or The American Cancer Society.
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