Alex Frederick Blake, 98

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Alex Frederick Blake, 98, of Stacyville, Iowa, passed away on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2019.

He was born on Oct. 4, 1921, the son of William and Gertrude (Hackenmiller) Blake. Alex grew up as a farm boy during the Great Depression, along with his 12 brothers and sisters. After enlisting in the U.S. Navy in 1942, he served aboard the USS Nevada as a gunner’s mate in historic battles such as Iwo Jima, Okinawa, the Aleutian Islands and Normandy Beach. While on leave on Oct. 17, 1944, he married his waiting sweetheart, Margaret Bissen. Upon his honorable discharge, he joined his wife and new daughter, Trudy, and they began their life together in the Stacyville area. Over the years, the family grew to include eight more daughters. Alex and Margaret continued to farm until 1983, when they moved to the home they built in Stacyville.

Alex was a 1974 Master Pork Producer, a Vigortone feed dealer, and a member of the Catholic Order of Foresters and the Knights of Columbus. But Alex’s service to his country was one of his proudest achievements. He remained active in the Stacyville American Legion for 70 years.

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He practiced his faith not only at Visitation Church, where he was a lifelong member, but every day of his life. His faith practice was evident in how he lived his life. Alex cherished his family, remaining the true patriarch and a pillar of wisdom and gentle strength. Despite living his life through so many historical hardships, he remained patient, humble, optimistic and eternally grateful. His circle of friends included the very young, the very old, and everyone in between.

He is survived by his siblings, Dorothy Blake, William (Betty) Blake, Omaha Nebraska, Rose (Bud) Schaefer, Adams, Minnesota, and Joan Vitale, Poughkeepsie, New York; brother-in-law, Fred Bissen, Stacyville; sister-in-law, Sr. Marydel Bissen, La Crosse, Wisconsin; special nephew, Ted Blake, Dubuque, Iowa; his nine daughters, Trudy (Levy) Scott, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Elaine (Greg) White, Midland, Michigan, Jane (Kirby) Moses, St. Ansgar, Iowa, Karen (Doug) Brumm, Toeterville, Iowa, Julie (Al) Barkley, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Linda (Mike) Mullenbach, St. Ansgar, Kristy Blake, Manchester, Iowa, Geri (Phil) Brumm, Stacyville, and Lu (John) Groth, St. Ansgar; grandchildren, Sondra Scott, Julie (Pat) Murtha, Amy (Dan) Buzzell, Colleen White, Krista O’Geary, Kara (Joe) Walk, Micki (Bryan) Christianson, Brian (Michelle) Horgen, Kody (Ali) Moses, Kyle Moses, Carl Brumm, Bert Brumm, Alex Barkley, Joe (Renee) Barkley, Al (Patrice) Mullenbach, Tony Mullenbach, Bruce(Kely) Hemann, Blake (Alli) Hemann, Nicole Kudrna, Clint (Jenna) Brumm, Chase Brumm, Jacob (Ashley) Groth, Gusty (Keith) Adams and Sadie Groth; 30 great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his “sweetie,” Margaret Blake, who passed away July 2019; his brothers, John, Adrian and Quentin; and his sisters, Alma Wendelin, Marjorie Smith, Jean Quintero, Alverna Marreel and Ethel Bartholmey.

A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, at Visitation Catholic Church in Stacyville with Father Raymond Burkle officiating. Visitation will be held from 3-7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 13, 2019, at Visitation Catholic Church. Burial will take place at Visitation Cemetery. Memorials may be directed to Stacyville American Legion Post 569 or the Stacyville Community Nursing Home. In addition, the family asks that you take this advice from Alex. In a letter written by him to be opened upon his death he wrote, “and all I ask the good Father is for all the good people to slow down and smell the roses.”