Parker B. Blake Jr.

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TURLOCK, Calif. - Parker Burnham Blake Jr., 82, died Dec. 31, 2012.

Parker was born and raised in Bellows Falls, Vt., where most knew him as "Burn." He loved working at a newspaper through high school, delivering, selling ads and setting type. He attended Northwestern University one semester and regretted that he wasn't able to continue.

He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1951. During his enlistment, he served in the Air Police and Fire Control Maintenance of B52s, serving in Morocco, Lowry AFB, Loring AFB, Westover AFB, Bossier AFB and Castle AFB. Parker (or "P.B." as some began calling him) was extremely proud of being of service to his country, retiring as a Senior Master Sergeant in 1973. Also during that time, he met and married Marilyn Moseley in 1954. They had three children and were divorced in 1978.

Shortly after retiring from the Air Force, P.B. went to work for Gallo Winery in Livingston. He then transferred to the Modesto location. It was there that he met Penny MacDonnell. They were married in 1981. He worked as safety supervisor, among other positions, until retiring from the company with more than 20 years of service in 1997.

Parker was a member of the Masons and the Air Force Gunners' Association, of which he was an "honorary" gunner. A few years ago, he invited several fire control friends and their spouses from across the country to come to Merced for a reunion. They enjoyed it so much, it has continued on in different states every year since. In November 2011, he started a luncheon get-together for gunners, fire control and spouses in the nearby area so as not to lose touch. That's how much he loved the Air Force. He also belonged to a lunch group called the ROMEOs (Retired Old Men Eating Out).

An avid camper, Parker enjoyed many weekends (and some longer trips) with family and friends. He was a very friendly man; he never met a stranger. He knew many people all across the country. Parker Burnham Blake was loved by many!!

Parker is survived by his wife of 31 years, Penny Blake; his children, Robin Blake, Mark Blake and Tamara Doss; stepchildren Kristy Reeves and Ronald Arndt; grandchildren Ian Doss, Matthew Blake, Michael Blake, Adam Blake, Trevor Blake, Heather Wood and Pam Olsen; step-grandchildren Ashley Reeves, Logen Arndt and Ethan Arndt; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Viewing will be at Allen Mortuary on Tuesday, January 8, 2013, from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Funeral service will also be at Allen Mortuary on Tuesday, January 8. at 1:00 p.m. Burial will be held on Wednesday, January 9, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. in San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery.
Published in Rutland Herald from Jan. 7 to Jan. 8, 2013
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