Joseph "Blake" Humphrey


Blake passed away peacefully and is now reunited with the love of his life, LaVyna “Johnnie” Humphrey.  Together they loved to dance and play cards with family and friends. 

Blake was committed to farming and selling insurance for Nodak Mutual.  In the farming community he was often referred to as “Farmer.” In Blake’s words, “To most people it’s just dirt, but to a farmer, it’s potential.”

Blake’s favorite passion was his involvement with the church.  He thoroughly enjoyed delivering a powerful message of spirituality to many congregations.

Blake was preceded in death by his wife, LaVyna; his parents, Bernard and Lena (Dullum) Humphrey; his sister, Audrey (Herb) Johnson; and his brothers, Ken, Tom, and Budd.

Blake is survived by his son, Michael (Pennie) Humphrey; his daughter, Marcia Humphrey; and his two favorite granddaughters, Keely (Charlie) Steele, and Casey Humphrey.  Also surviving are his sisters-in-law, Helen, Joan, and Ona.

As Blake would say in his best Paul Harvey voice, “And now you know the rest of the story!"

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Memories Timeline


  1. HARRISONBURG VirginiaI so much enjoyed my visit with Blake a year ago when “the Peterson kids” visited Grandin. I know he will be greatly missed.

  2. Portland ME Deane, Dorn & I had coffee with Blake last September when we were in Fargo. It was wonderful seeing him again. I was glad that I could say goodbye.

    Ara Peterson Colucci

  3. Fargo ND
    Mike and Marcia,

    Your dad was a wonderful man–always so interesting and so important to the Grandin community.

    Although he had a full and rich life, I know that you will miss him very much. My sympathy on your loss.

    Eunice Pedersen Johnston

  4. Fargo ND
    Mike and Marcia,
    My deepest sympathies in the passing of your Dad. He was a kind man and no matter where you saw him, he always came over to say hello. May God’s loving arms embrace you today and in the difficult days ahead.

  5. Fargo My thoughts and prayers are with the family. I feel very lucky to have known Blake. He always had a joke to tell and a laugh to follow. I have 2 items that he gave me, a hand-made clock that hangs on my living room wall, and my front door rug that lays in my entryway. Thank you Blake for the great talks and the special memories. I’m sure you’ll be greatly missed. Until we meet again my friend. God Bless.

  6. Fargo ND
    – North Dakota
    My heart is heavy for you at the loss of your Dad. He was such a good Father and so special to all of us. When I think about him a smile comes to my face because I remember all the funny things he would say and all the wonderful things he did to make everyone feel great. I can’t count how many years he delivered krumkake to us at the office for the holidays. He was so smart, so kind, so fun and such an example to all of us of how to live an honorable and memorable life. I know how much he loved you and how much he will be missed. Nanc

  7. Fargo ND
    I have a very fond memories of Blake. He always had a good story and a warm smile. I will always remember him as a kind and giving man. He will be missed by many of us here at Nodak Mutual.

    God bless Blake!

  8. Fargo ND
    Marcia and Mike: My prayers and thoughts are with you and hugs to both of you! Blake was such a kind and loving person and I remember in college when I had a car accident I was so upset and your dad calls me to tell me “Marcia, don’t worry I have it all taken care of, and that is what I am for as your insurance agent”! He had it taken care of the day I called him! He will be missed by all and is now “dancing” in heaven! Marcia

  9. Northwood ND
    “Pure religion and undefiled before God the Father is this: To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world.” James 1:27 This verse exemplifies Blake Humphrey. Blake took my husband, David, under his wing when he was just 11 yrs old after David’s father died. He mentored and employed him throughout those difficult years. David brought me to meet Blake and Johnnie when we were dating. What a wonderful family!! Your family is part of the reason I married David. I knew he had grown up seeing a Godly example of a married couple! Our family has been truly blessed by Blake and your family. We even named our son after Blake. That is how much we thought of him. May God Bless and comfort you Marsha, Mike, Penny, Keely and Kacy.

  10. I had to chuckle at the mention of Blake’s Paul Harvey voice saying “And now you know the rest of the story”. I do not know how many times in my visiting with Blake that I heard him say that. Blake always had a smile and a story for you. When Blake and Jerry Radcliffe (another agent for Nodak Mutual) caught you, you knew you were going to be there awhile. It was always fun to visit with Blake. He will be missed.

  11. Fargo ND
    Marcia, I LOVED visiting with your dad and talking farming. I was so blessed to sit with him during one of our famous church Pot Lucks and we both were still drinking coffee and talking after many had already left. He knew many from my little farming community…Enoch Thorsgard being one mutual friend. I was most moved by his reading of the “Ten Commandments” during worship service several years ago. I always told him I needed him to record it for me so I could always hear his “Moses On The Mountain” inflection of this reading that gave us all chills. (Made us all want to sit up straight in the pews and LISTEN to what he was reading.) God bless your family and give you comfort at the time of your loss. And be so comforted by the wonderful memories so many have of your dad.

  12. Clarkston WashingtonMike and Marcia
    Farm families intertwined in our generation from grandparents, parents and children. I can’t remember when my parents or my grandparents for that matter weren’t honest friends to yours. Blake was one of my dad’s last genuine farm buddies from ‘the neighborhood’—they did so much together and i know my dad will truly miss him. I too believe Blake and Johnnie are having the ‘dance’ of their life—and saying “Thank You for being our children”! Blessings and Peace. Don and LuAnn

  13. Bismarck ND
    My thoughts and prayers are with all of you
    I always enjoyed visiting with Blake.
    He was truly a genuine person..

  14. Moorhead Minnesota
    Blake was a great friend and man. There are not many of these now days. I am surely going to miss him, he reminded me of my grandfather. Blake had a joke for everything and that great sense of humor. I loved him as my friend and mentor in many things. God truly has the best ANGEL now.

    my prayers go out to all of you.

  15. Casselton ND

    I recall Blake presenting the sermon several times over the years at Westminster Prebyterian in Casselton.

    My sympathy to the family.

  16. Fargo No. DakotaSorry Mike to hear about Blake’s passing . He was a great man.I will be out of town the week of the service, my thought’s and prayers will be with you and your family. Vance

  17. Fargo ndThank you for all the kind words. It has been hard not hearing dads voice everyday.My day usually started with “good morning dad” to the conversation ending with “you got a deal”.
    I feel overwhelmed with blessings from family and friends. Thank you for sharing. It so helps.

  18. Fargo N.dakSorry Mike to hear about Blake. He was a great man. I will be gone the week of the service, but my thought’s and prayers will be with you and your family. Vance

  19. Grand Forks ND
    So sorry to hear about Blake,”my second dad when I was growing up!” Marcia love you and thinking of you! Pat and Lu

  20. So very sorry to hear of Blake’s passing. He truly was one of the nicest people I knew. He was always a presence in church (Grandin Presbyterian and here in Fargo). He taught the high school Sunday School class and I remember that we listened to the Jesus Christ Superstar soundtrack (1970s vinyl LP, of course) and discussed it over a series of weeks. I think that took brains AND courage in the day. Mike and Marcia – your Mom and Dad were awesome. Mallory was 4 when we moved back to ND
    , and she LOVED your Mom. Mallory has always been a good judge of character. Many, many memories flooding back right now, and I hope that your memories comfort you in the days to come.

  21. Fargo ND
    Blake was a wonderful man. When I would see him at Bethney he always had a smile, a joke and he laughed the hardest.
    He had a wonderful family. Everyone I know was top notch.

  22. Fargo, ND
    I’m so sorry to hear about your dad’s passing and it’s good to know he has his dance partner waiting for him. Take care and know I’m thinking of you.

  23. We have hearts of gratitude to have had the pleasure of knowing JB. Every visit we had we left with pearls of wisdom on life, family, friends and pets which has enriched our lives to this day. Heaven is really rockin now! With love,T&C

  24. Rogers ND
    Marcia, So very sorry about your Dad.
    You and your family are in our prayers. I know how very close you were to him from Sally who also thought highly of him. She would tell me once in awhile about the advise he gave her. What a special man!!!

  25. Moorhead MnSo sorry to hear of Blake’s passing. Always a wonderful man to visit with. I remember the many visits my family would have at the Humphreys. Mike and Marcia hold dear the memories of your Dad. He was one of a kind.

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