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Melville Edgar Blake, Jr., of Silver Spring, MD died peacefully on Saturday, August 5, 2017, of complications following a stroke. He was 93 years old. He was the son of Melville E. and Minor Waldo Blake of Lexington, MS. He was the brother of Eva Blake Freeman (deceased) and M. Waldo Blake.
Mr. Blake was born on June 29, 1924, and spent his early years on Mileston Plantation, MS. The Blake family moved to Lexington in 1931. He attended Lexington public schools and graduated in 1941. After two years at Mississippi State College, Mr. Blake entered the United States Army. Overseas service was in the Philippine Islands as an officer in the 12th Infantry Division (Philippine Scouts), which was being reconstituted as part of the United States Army. Mr. Blake left the Army in 1947 but remained in the Army Reserve and retired as a Colonel, USAR, in 1984.
Mr. Blake graduated from the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, in 1949 and subsequently obtained a Masters degree from George Washington University, both in Washington, DC. He was a research fellow at the London School of Economics during the 1962-63 academic year. His senior officer training was done at the NATO Defense College, Rome, Italy, in 1969.
Mr. Blake entered the Foreign Service in January 1951. Assignments were in Germany, England, Costa Rica, Italy, Switzerland, Panama, and Bermuda. In 1982, the Government of Panama awarded Mr. Blake the Order of Balboa for his contributions to cordial US-Panamanian relations while Chargé and Deputy Chief of Mission; he also received the State Department’s superior honor award for his services in Panama. He retired from the Foreign Service in 1987 and became a business consultant.
Mr. Blake met his future wife, Rozanne Marie Croff, at an Army reserve officer’s meeting at Bremerhaven, Germany, in September 1952. They were married on December 31st of that year.
Mr. Blake is survived by his five children: Melville III of Portsmouth, NH, Martha Anne of Jamesville, NY, John Waldo of Munich, Germany, Rebecca Eva of New York City, NY, Mary Minor of Washington Grove, MD, and seven grandchildren. He also is survived by his brother M. Waldo Blake, of Silver Spring, MD.
Mr. Blake was a parishioner of Little Flower Catholic Church in Bethesda, MD. A Memorial Funeral Mass will be held at the Church of the Little Flower, 5607 Massachusetts Ave, Bethesda, MD on Monday, September 11, 2017 at 12 Noon, followed by interment at Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, DC. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Saint Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, Gift of Peace House, 2800 Otis Street, NE, Washington, DC 20018.
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