Senator Harris D. Blake

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Senator Harris Durham Blake


On Monday, June 9, 2014 former Senator Harris Durham Blake was surrounded by loved ones at his home in Pinehurst, NC where he peacefully passed away.

He was born November 3, 1929 in Jackson Springs, N.C., the son of Evander Blake and Claudia Parker. Harris was a graduate of West End High School, served in the Korean War with the U.S. Army and briefly attended Elon College. In 1953, he married Barbara (now deceased), his wife of 56 years. He was first employed as a clerk and later manager of Pinehurst Hardware & Supply Co. In 1964 Mr. Blake purchased the business and expanded into three locations. He continued his commercial development as owner of Pinehurst South Realty.

As an appointee of President Ronald Reagan in 1985-86, Mr. Blake was Associate Administrator for the Farmers Home Administration (FMHA) within the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington D.C. He was elected to the North Carolina Senate in 2002 where he served until 2012. Prior to retirement from the Senate, Senator Blake was designated President Pro Tempore.

Throughout his lifetime, Senator Blake served on several business and non-profit boards such as Moore Regional Hospital, Moore Regional Foundation, Moore County Schools, Sandhills Community College, NC Housing Finance Agency, Sandhills Area Chamber of Commerce, Pinehurst Lions Club, Sandhills Kiwanis Club and Moore County Historical Society.

He was a proud recipient of the Governor's Long Leaf Pine Award for his development of educational, cultural and economic exchanges between his beloved state of North Carolina and China. His work as co-founder of the Carolina China Council brought him great joy as he fostered international relationships for greater understanding and mutual respect.

Senator Blake is survived by his daughter, Joy, and son-in-law, Luke Donat, of Wilmington, NC. A brother Waylon Blake of Columbia South Carolina and his sister, Betty McNeill of Candor North Carolina. He was preceded in death by sisters; Lillian, Odessa, Jewell, and Margaret and brothers; Kimes, Elwood and infant Billy.

The family will receive friends on Wednesday, June 11th from 5-8 p.m. at Boles Funeral Home in Pinehurst. Funeral services will be held at the Jackson Springs Presbyterian Church on Thursday, June 12th at 11 a.m. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with military honors. Lunch will be provided afterwards at the Mineral Spring across from the church. Memorials may be made to the Jackson Springs Presbyterian Church Cemetery or Preservation fund PO Box 7, Jackson Springs, NC 27281.

Online condolences can be made at

Boles Funeral Home of Pinehurst is serving the family.
Funeral Home
Boles Funeral Home
35 Parker Lane Pinehurst, NC 28374
(910) 235-0366
Funeral Home Details
Published in The News & Observer on June 11, 2014
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