TRAVERSE CITY — Thomas Olin Blake, 79, of Traverse City, passed away unexpectedly on Monday, June 10, 2013, at Munson Medical Center, surrounded by his loving family.
Tom was born on March 31, 1934, in Gladwin, to the late Thomas Adith and Frances (Jacob) Blake. At the age of nine he moved to Traverse City, and he was taken in by his aunt and uncle, Dora and Louie Blake.
He married the late Mary Alice Blake on May 19, 1956, in Traverse City, at St. Francis Catholic Church. Together they raised two loving children.
Tom worked for Coca Cola for 16 years. He proudly earned his refrigeration certification to repair Coke machines everywhere.
He almost never missed an opening day of any hunting or fishing season. He loved to hunt for deer and squirrels and enjoyed fly fishing and stream fishing.
Racing was also very important to Tom. From racing his motorcycles in the ‘60s, to spending quality pit crew time with his son, Tom and his cars, he loved racing. He even could be found lending a helping hand to other racers when they needed it. Almost every weekend “Pops” could be found watching, listening or participating in a race.
Most importantly, Tom enjoyed being a family man. He supported his kids as they were growing up by letting his convenient in-town house be the gathering place, as well as going with the kids to support all St. Francis Athletics. He typically could be found in the stands cheering everyone on.
Being a grandfather brought great joy to Tom. He loved to be with his grandchildren and the times they spent together, especially during the summers. The memories they created will be cherished forever.
Tom was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. His kind heart, strong soul and loving personality will be deeply missed by all who knew him.