Donald “Don” A. Blake, 88, of Chippewa Falls passed away Tuesday, July 2, 2019, at Neighbors of Dunn County in Menomonie.
He was born Jan. 9, 1931, in Chippewa Falls, to Albert and Anna (Lossau) Blake. Don attended Chippewa Falls Senior High School.
Don served in the National Guard of Wisconsin and the U.S. Marine Corps.
Don was an avid bowler, he was around bowling from an early age, setting pins in his youth to competing in local leagues as an adult. Don met his future wife, Ruth, at Falls Bowl. They were married March 10, 1962, at Truax Congregational Church in Eau Claire. Don and Ruth moved to the Twin Cities area, but returned to Eau Claire, in 1972 and built a home and started a family. Don was a purchasing agent for Van Waters and Rogers, in the Twin Cities, commuting home to Eau Claire on the weekends to be with his wife and son. Eventually, Don found a position in Chippewa Falls at Wissota Tool, in charge of inventory, when he retired.
Family and friends considered Don an artist, his drawings, often humorous, brightened the lives of those who received them. Ruth received them often as they were left around the house for his angel to find. Don had a passion for organic gardening, tilling the earth by hand and composting the many leaves that would fall each year. And his hard work paid off in tomatoes, his crop of choice.
Don was admired for his tenacity, when his son and family, living in Madison at the time, came home to visit, they found a large pile of logs by the drive. Each log was three feet or more in diameter and ten feet long. Don, in his 70s, had plans to split and saw each log by hand. He took a slow and steady approach and by the end of the summer, there were several cords of firewood, meticulously stacked.
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Don was a blessing to his family and friends, enjoying life together, hosting bonfires and playing cards. His solid and quiet faith, a legacy summed up in a note he left, “GOD WILL—GOD does not always give us what we want, but what is best for us according to his WILL.” His son and family will hold on to the memories created living together over the past five years with “Papa,” from his ridiculously difficult Monster Sudoku’s to early morning Cribbage games.
Don is survived by his son, Michael (Kelly) of Eau Claire; four grandchildren, William, Benjamin, Matthew and Jackson Blake; sister, Dorothy Sorenson of Chippewa Falls; brother, Ken (Rosa) Blake of Chippewa Falls; sister, Jo Anne (Bill) Pagel of Altoona; sister-in-law, Linda (Jim) Ross of Holcombe; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Ruth; brother-in-law, Harold Sorenson; half-brother, Walter (Gerda) Gram; three half-sisters, Olga (Sam) Fisher, Helen (Don) Page and Leona (Vern) Mondloh; and an infant son, Michael Scott.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, July 5, at Chippewa Valley Bible Church, 531 E. South Ave., Chippewa Falls, with Pastor Alan Dunham officiating. Visitation will begin one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will take place at Lakeview Cemetery in Eau Claire.
Lenmark-Gomsrud-Linn Funeral Home is assisting the family. To express online condolences, please visit www.lenmarkfh.com.