Pearl Harbor survivor Blake dies at 103

Lived at Homelake Veterans Center in MV

MONTE VISTA — George Blake, a Pearl Harbor survivor, passed away on May 8, 2024, at Homelake Veterans Center in Monte Vista at the age of 103.

He was the only child of Florence Rosa (Sears) of London, England and George W. Blake of Plymouth, England. George Jr. Was born on Jan. 29, 1921, in the Bronx, NY. Shortly after his birth the family moved to Flatbush in Brooklyn, NY. He grew up in Brooklyn attending P.S. 119 and then on to graduate from Textile HS in Manhattan.

At 15 years of age he met Helen, the love of his life, and except for his military service overseas during WWII they were together for the rest of their lives. After almost 70 years of marriage Helen passed away in 2013.

George served almost 5½ years in the Army during WWII with over 3 years of his service overseas. He was assigned to an Artillery Unit for the Harbor Defense of Pearl Harbor, T.H. 1941. George was trained as a Morse Code radio Operator and later was in charge of a Radar installation for Artillery Fire. At the end of the war, he was discharged with the rank of Staff Sergeant. Following his discharge he joined the Air Force Reserves.

Upon his discharge from the Army, George became employed by the Research Department of Bell Telephone Laboratories in NY. Due to the nature of his assignments and the expansion of Bell Labs, George and Helen moved several times and have lived in 5 states: VA, NY, NJ, IL, and CO. In 1983 after 37 years with the company he retired from the Bell Labs in Denver and moved to Salida, CO.

George was sent to the University of Hawaii by the Army and while majoring in electrical engineering, he did the equivalent of his freshman year. Later he continued his college education on the GI Bill by attending Brooklyn Polytechnical Institute. Due to his relocation to the Bell Labs in NJ, he transferred to Rutgers University where he completed
his education as an engineer.

George was active in community service during his adult life serving as a volunteer on the Fire Department in NJ, Auxiliary Police in Illinois, and after retirement George did other volunteer functions. He was on the Boards of Starpoint, The Ark Valley Humane Society, The Salida Elks, The Mesa Heights Homeowners Association, and District Director of The Pearl Harbor Survivors Association. And he was especially proud of his many hours of volunteer service during his eight years as an EMT on the Chaffee County Ambulance. He was also a life member of Salida Post 808 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

George is survived by his three daughters, Margaret Glaser (Andrew) of Annandale, NJ, Barbara Swift of Maple Park, Ill., and Colleen Trinko (Paul) of Glen Ellyn, Ill. five grandchildren Drew Glaser, Jeff Glaser (Jen), Amy Glaser, Kari Soprych and Megan Loebbaka (Cale) and 10 great-grandchildren Jack and Lucy, Eve (Arthur), and Indra (Andrew), Ella and Andrew, Ethan and Emma, Sawyer and Charlotte.

Funeral Service are set for 10 a.m. on Friday, May 17, 2024, at Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home in Salida. Interment will follow at Fairview Cemetery in Salida. In lieu of flowers, friends who desire may make memorial contributions to Ark Valley Helping Hands or the Ark Valley Humane Society.

Arrangements are with Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home.