Ernest “Ernie” Blake, 93, of Longmeadow, died Aug. 20 after a brief illness. He was the husband of Salena Blake. He was the son of the late William H. and Yetta (Sedletsky) Blake. He was a lifelong resident of the Springfield area. After serving in the Army Air Corps during World War II, he returned to be the proprietor of Blake’s House of Banquets until his retirement. He was an active member of the Melha Shrine, where he participated in the Oriental Band and later in the Clown Unit, where he was known as “Bicycle.” Ernie packed lunches for Meals on Wheels at the Jewish Community Center and also served lunches to seniors. He was past president of City of Homes, a member of the Blind Veterans Association, Jewish War Veterans, American Legion, and was a board member of the Greater Springfield Senior Services and Longmeadow Seniors. He was also active in the Foxes and Belles and the Romeos, a lunch group. In 1998, he received the Dove award from Governor Cellucci honoring his dedicated volunteer service to elders. In addition to his wife of 70 years, he is survived by a daughter, Dorine Toyen and her husband, Martin, of Avon, Conn.; a son, Gary Blake and his wife, Barbara, of California; and grandchildren Heather, Jamie and his wife Kelly, Joshua, and Melinda; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a granddaughter, Amy Toyen; and brothers, Arnold and Melvin. Memorial contributions may be made to Shriner’s Hospital, 516 Carew St., Springfield, MA 01104; the Amy E. Toyen Scholarship Fund, at Dollars for Scholars, P.O. Box 706, Avon, CT 06001; or to the Jewish Nursing Home, 770 Converse St., Longmeadow, MA 01106.


Sarah Shnap

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