Robert William “Bob” Blake

By on November 14, 2017

Brockport – November 5, 2017 at age 87, peacefully, with family by his side, after a long and courageous battle with dementia. Predeceased by his wife of 62 years, Carol (Clark) Blake, he is survived by his three children, David (Linda) Blake, Brett Elizabeth Blake, and Robert W. Jr. (Jen) Blake; grandchildren Robert Clark Moe, MacKenzie Grace Blake and Matthew Reagan Blake; three step grandchildren Bobby J. Hopson II, Kierra Hopson-Taylor, and Jonathan Herbert Eaddy Hopson; his sister Elizabeth (Blake) Niergarth, Sister-in Law, Barbara Blake, and several nieces and nephews. Robert was a proud Veteran of the Korean War.

Robert was an educator for over 60 years and published over 50 books and articles on a wide variety of topics around literacy, linguistics, and English education. He was a GED teacher in the Armed forces, a high school English teacher, a vice principal and principal, and after receiving his doctorate in 1964 at the University of Rochester, was, for well over 30 years, a Professor of English Education at the State University of New York (SUNY) of Brockport where he held various titles: Chair of the Department, Coordinator of English Education, and Coordinator and Founder of the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) program. When Robert retired in 1995, as Professor Emeritus, he continued to write and publish with his daughter, often traveling to places like Ireland, Greece, Scotland, and Spain to talk about his work and the importance of equitable education for all, not just for the privileged few.

When Bob was not teaching, he was enjoying his two favorite hobbies of sailing and skiing. (As a young man, he was a champion high diver, painter, and live radio actor). Later, as a family man he was a long-standing member of the Brockport Yacht Club (BYC) where he taught sailing along with being an avid sailboat racer. Robert would race anything, and was a long time member of the Day Sailer Association (DSA). His “go-to” crew members were his family, first his wife Carol, then David, Brett and Bob Jr. in succession. In 1994 (Rudi Reservoir, Aspen, CO) and 1995 (Huntington Lake, CA), Robert, with his son Robert Jr. won the Day Sailer North American Championship Regatta. Bob and Bob, Jr. spent over 15 years racing as a father-son team and last teamed up in 2010 to win yet again.

Bob was also a professional skier, having become a ski-instructor, in Killington, VT, a position he held with great pride until well into his 50’s.

A Memorial Service at Fowler Funeral Home in Brockport and a celebration of Bob’s life (place to be determined) will be held in the summer of 2018.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation or to the Veterans’ Group called, “BrothersKeepers” in his name noting his service in the Korean War.

“Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.”

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