Richard Patrick Blake passed away peacefully at home on January 18, 2017. He is survived by his wife, Beverly, and their five children, ten grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Children: Dady Kathryn Blake, Kiki Blake Russler (Rick), Rick Blake (Peggy), Jim Blake, and Liz Blake Benson (Andy). Grandchildren: Brietta Russler Burns (Sean), Blake Russler (Pam), Will Russler (Shanzay), Owen Blake, Anna Blake, Blake Morgan, Bryn Morgan, Cole Morgan, Grace Benson and Reidar Benson. Great-grandchildren: Dady, Eloise and Benjamin Burns; Ridley Russler; Tuba Rose and Elaina Russler. His sister, Barbara Damm (Tom) and sister-in-law Patricia Blake also survive him and his brother Bill Blake died before him.
Dick was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 30, 1930 and lived in Shorewood, Wisconsin until attending University of Illinois on a ROTC full scholarship from 1948-53, graduating with B.S. in Architectural Engineering and a Navy commission. He served three years on the USS Newport News as air controller in Combat Information Center, with duty in the Mediterranean. After discharge in 1956, he and Bev moved to Milwaukee where he did the required apprenticeship with various Milwaukee firms before obtaining his architectural license in 1959.
He opened his firm Richard P. Blake and Associates in March 1960, the same month his fourth child was born. Succeeding years were filled with increasing success, and the firm grew with the addition of partners and staff. He became a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects for his service on various state and national committees. When Dick retired in 1985, the firm was BHS Inc., named for him and partners Clarence Huettenrauch and Peter Schuyler.
Retirement for him and Bev was the open sea aboard their sailboat, Balena. They sailed out the St. Lawrence River to Nova Scotia, the Chesapeake and to the Caribbean from 1983-1985. In 1986 they crossed the Atlantic from US Virgin Islands to Bermuda and on to Ireland, England and France to spend the winter in Paris. The Netherlands and Denmark followed in 1987 and then Dartmouth, England for the winter. 1988 saw them to Atlantic France, Spain and on to Portugal for the winter. In 1989 they crossed the Mediterranean spending two years in Turkey before wintering near Rome, Italy in 1991 and selling Balena in Palma, Mallorca in October 1992.
After sailing for over nine years, Santa Fe, New Mexico became their new land home. Dick took on the project of designing and building by hand their beautiful mountain top home. In 2000, Dick was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer but went on to beat the cancer and thrive for sixteen more years. To celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in 2003 they bought one last sailboat, Dakili, and again crossed the Atlantic, this time to Croatia, spending summers aboard and winters in Santa Fe until 2012. In addition to sailing and architecture, Dick loved skiing, spending time with family and friends, reading and cheering the Packers.
In lieu of flowers, please make remembrances to MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX; PMS Hospice Services, Santa Fe, NM; Church of the Holy Faith; or charity of your choice.