Thomas R. Blake was the 5th son of James and Shirley (Kaspari) Blake. Tom was born on March 21, 1953 in Fargo, ND. He shared a birthday with his paternal grandmother, Martha Blake, which endeared her to him. Tom attended Holy Spirit Grade School and Shanley High School, completing his schooling in 1971. While in high school, he especially enjoyed English and writing poetry which was meaningful to him. In February 1973, Tom joined the Marine Corp. He completed boot camp at Camp Pendleton, California and became a lance corporal. He then served in Honolulu, Hawaii where he was honorably discharged in December 1974. Following his tour of duty with the Marines, Tom moved to Valley City, ND, where he attended Valley City State University and met his wife, Susan, another student from Maine. Tom taught Susan how to play duplicate bridge and there was a time when they were the best Bridge pair in North Dakota. Tom’s 4 years of marriage to Susan were the happiest years of his life. Tom suffered a service connected mental health disorder and was a long term patient at the VA Hospital in Fargo, ND. He loved having fellowship with his fellow servicemen and he will always be remembered for his great love for his country. Tom died on February 15, 2022 at SMP Health-St. Raphael Care Center in Valley City, ND. He is survived by his brothers William (Bill), John (Jack), Jerome (Jerry) and Dennis Blake. A memorial service will be held this spring at the Fargo National Cemetery.

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