Coach Ron Blake, 58, a resident of Elkins departed this life on Sunday morning, November 29, 2009 at his home after an extended illness.
Coach Blake was born on Wednesday, March 21, 1951 in Fayetteville, West Virginia to the late James Ronald Blake Sr. and the late Freddie Zane Coleman Blake. Married twice, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Loretta Grace Armstrong. On November 20, 1993, he married Judy Mae Novallis who survives. Also surviving are two sons, Andrew Patrick Blake and wife Jamie of Charles Town, West Virginia; Christopher Adam Blake of Washington, DC; two step-children, Peter Christopher Novallis and wife Ashley of Morgantown and September Howard and husband Matthew of Fairmont; one grand-child, Carter Benjamin Blake of Charles Town and one step-grandson, Levi Howard of Fairmont.
Coach Blake was an All-state basketball player at Fayetteville High School, where he graduated in 1969. He moved to Elkins after accepting a basketball scholarship to Davis and Elkins College. Although a severe injury ended his athletic career at D&E, he graduated in 1973. Following his graduation, Coach Blake began a successful teaching career at Parsons High School and a successful coaching career at Parsons Junior High School. In 1979, Coach Blake accepted a teaching and coaching position at Tygarts Valley High School where he remained until becoming the head boy’s basketball coach at Elkins High School and a teacher at Elkins Junior High School. He was also an assistant coach for the Elkins High School women’s basketball program. In 1985, continuing health problems forced him to retire from teaching although he retained his head coaching position at Elkins High School on a volunteer basis until 1990. Coach Blake also served as the State Director of West Virginia Special Olympics basketball for twenty years, organizing and running an annual Special Olympics Basketball Tournament every March. Aside from being passionate about athletics and education, Coach Blake was also an avid stamp collector.
In 1995, Coach Blake and his wife founded Community Response Foundation, a nonprofit organization specializing in representative payee services for Social Security recipients. Coach Blake was the director of Community Response Foundation until his death. His family would like to express their gratitude to Mrs. Donna Louk, who executed the daily operations of the office during Coach Blake’s absence.
The family will receive friends at the Lohr & Barb Funeral Home of Elkins from 5 – 8 PM on Tuesday. Final Rites will be conducted at the funeral home chapel on Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 12:30 PM. The Reverend Donald Butcher and Ralph Bennett will officiate and internment will follow at the Mountain State Memorial Gardens in Gilman, West Virginia. The Lohr & Barb Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements for Coach J. Ronald Blake, Jr. Condolences may be expressed to the family at: www.lohrbarbfuneralhome.com.
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