Mary BLAKE (nee Layton)

BLAKE, Mary (nee Layton)

Feb. 10, 1921 – Jan. 14, 2017

Mary Blake (née Layton), of Red Deer passed away peacefully at the Michener Hill Extendicare in the early hours of Saturday January 14, 2017.

Mary was born on February 10, 1921 on her parents’ homestead west of Bentley, Alberta. Her education began at the one-room Benjamin school, riding there on horseback with her siblings. She completed high school in Lacombe and in 1940 she qualified as a teacher at the Calgary Normal School. She taught briefly at a remote country school west of Rimbey before joining the RCAF. During the Second World War she served as a corporal on several Canadian bases. Her veteran’s benefits made it possible to attend the University of British Columbia where she earned a degree in home economics and met her future husband. Mary and Humfrey Blake were married in 1947 and their two sons were born in Kelowna, BC. After Humfrey’ s untimely death in 1958 she returned to central Alberta where she taught Home-economics and English at Bentley High School. During the summer breaks she completed her Education degree from the University of Alberta. In 1965 she accepted a position at Central Jr. High School in Red Deer where she taught for another fifteen years. Retirement was Mary’s opportunity to travel and pursue a passionate interest in art. She explored many media including painting, textiles, and ceramics. The local arts community benefitted greatly from her support and informal instruction. She was a stalwart member of Gaetz United Church and volunteered much of her free time to the choir, the UCW, and other church programs.

Mary is survived by: her son John Francis (Mavis) Blake of Vancouver; her son Gerald Anthony (Lorraine) Blake of Red Deer; her grandson Adam James (Sara) Blake; Her grandson Brendan Neill (Ashley) Blake; her great-granddaughter Bridget Ann-Marie Blake and Bridget’s sister Layla D. Schmitt; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

She is preceded in death by: her husband F. Humfrey Blake; her parents Duncan McLean Layton and Annie Mary Layton (née Lockhart); her brother James L. (Beryl) Layton; her brother Robert D. (Clara) Layton; her brother Laurie R. (Lenore) Layton; her sister Jessie B. (Hal) Bodden; her brother Layton L. (Reva) Layton; and her grandson James D. Blake.

Mary’s family wishes to thank the staff at Extendicare for kind and respectful care she received during her stay there.

A funeral service will be held at Gaetz United Church in Red Deer in early February. The exact time and details will be announced at a later date.

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Arrangements entrusted to


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