Lowell Leonard Blake, 99, a long-time resident of the Colfax, Iowa, area passed from this life on November 4, 2011 at Skiff Medical Center in Newton. Memorial services will be held on Thursday, November 10, 2011, at 10:30 a.m. at Coburn Funeral Home in Colfax with interment following at Colfax Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, November 9, 2011, at the funeral home from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. with family present to greet friends from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Memorials may be given to Hospice of Jasper County, Colfax Historical Society, or Newton Community Theatre. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.coburnfuneralhomes.com.
Mr. Blake was born in Chelsea, IA (Poweshiek County) December 29, 1911, the son of Alexander Campbell Blake and Edna Ellen (Carpenter) Blake. He was also preceded in death by all of his siblings, Oral, Pearl, Alice, Rose, Ethel, Lois, Kenneth, Eldon, and Doris. He graduated from Albion High School in 1929 and attended Business College in Marshalltown.
Five children were born from his marriage in 1934 to Louise Violet Wilkerson of State Center, IA, who left this life in February 1950. Vincent (Helen) Blake, Paris, TN; Leonard (Dona) Blake, Hornbeak, TN; Elaine Poole, Battle Creek, MI; Brian Blake, Owasso, OK; and Ellen (Duane) Ernst, Ida Grove, IA all survive.
In December 1951, Mr. Blake married Venita Shimel Surber, the mother of Kenneth (Mary) Surber, Spring, TX. In July 2007, after 55 years of marriage, Venita preceded him in death. To this marriage were born Kevin Blake, Portland, OR, and Carolyn (Brian) Warrick, Colfax, IA. All three survive.
Mr. Blake was a life-long worker among the churches of Christ. He retired from The Maytag Company at the end of 1972, after more than thirty years of employment there. He was known for his candy making and was an avid photographer. After retirement he had time to pursue his many hobbies: travel throughout the United States and Europe with his wife Venita, act in Newton Community Theater productions and assist with activities of the Jasper County Museum. He was proud to be the winner of the Colfax Centennial song competition in 1966. He belonged to Colfax and Newton Kiwanis clubs for more than 25 years.
Also among his survivors are 27 grandchildren, 60 great-grandchildren and 9 great-great grandchildren. Additional survivors include a longtime family friend, Dorothy Hanawalt Romans and family of Newton, IA.
My memory of Lowell Blake is of his beautiful singing at Dona and Leonard's wedding in 1960. We know several family members, most notably Leonard, who was our family's first "in-law" and quickly made his place as one of the Bruce family. We're thankful for the many, many memories we know your family has of Lowell Blake, a remarkable man. God bless you all.
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. At 99, he lived a long life, leaving a wonderful legacy in the form of his children. Take care of each other and know that I am thinking of you and praying for peace as you remember the many blessings that you share.
I remember a trip to Colfax one time when I was a little girl. My mother and father took me to visit Uncle Lowell (Mom's brother), and I was so amazed by the candy. So professional and perfect it was, and Uncle Lowell and Mother talked for a long time about it. He sent some home with us, and it tasted even better than it looked. That Christmas Mom made sheet after sheet of the fanciest candy I had ever seen in our house--not professional, but definitely Uncle Lowell inspired. That year was the first of a new Christmas tradition: holiday candy that was the best ever...as long as you had never been to the Lowell Blake place in Colfax. May God bless Uncle Lowell and family.
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