Ernest Jean Blake
1936 - 2021
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Ernest Jean Blake

Ernest Jean Blake was born on March 21, 1936, in Wicomico County, MD, to the Late Maude Dutton and Ralph Blake. He is preceded in death by his parents, Wife Rosetta Blake, Sisters - Pauline Deborah Parker Hitch, and Shirley Mae Parker Hernandez. In the Seventies, Ernest met his Life Partner, Rhondia T. Grimes.

Ernest was educated at the Salisbury Colored High School in Salisbury, MD. He was then blessed with Stanley White and Franzella Purnell. Ernest later enlisted in the United States Army in 1954 and served a tour of duty in Vietnam. Ernest wed Rosetta Price in 1956 and from that union were blessed with Janeen Blake. Ernest and his Cousin Curtis moved their families to Philadelphia, PA, in 1961. In 1965 Ernest began his career "doing what he loved" as a Bus Driver for Greyhound, and after many years of service, he retired. While retired, he went on to work for the Philadelphia School District as a school bus driver, where he enjoyed the children and the downtime he spent with his coworkers.

Everyone who knew Ernest knew he was passionate about bowling and good at too! He and Rhonda enjoyed participating in bowling leagues and traveling in tournaments. He also shared that passion by teaming up with his grandsons Fontel Rhone and Christopher Robinson for many years. Ernest also loved to play cards; among his favorites were Pinochle and Spades. Ernest loved a good challenge and found that in tinkering with cars, he was always a Jack of all trades. In his later years, he also became somewhat of a foodie as his Granddaughter Tanisha Robinson often had him sampling new and creative foods.

Ernest truly valued family, and he annually visited his hometown of Salisbury, MD. He enjoyed spending time with his cousins and family back home. It was always important to him to remain in touch with his family and his sister's children. Equally important was his overflowing love for his children and especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Having lived in the same home for over 50 years, he became the grandfather (affectionately known as Pop-Pop) of Croskey St. and found pleasure in sitting on his porch watching the children play and chatting with his neighbors.

Ernest leaves a legacy of integrity, hard work, kindness, and unconditional love. He leaves to treasure his precious memories: His Beloved Life Partner Rhondia T. Grimes, Daughters, Franzella Purnell and Janeen Blake and Son, Stanley Anthony White; Grandsons Rashad Brown, Joseph Purnell, Fontel Rhone, and Christopher Robinson, Granddaughters Tikila Brown, Michelle Purnell, Tanisha Robinson; Great Grandchildren: Jabari Brown, Zamora Brown, Sahjir Davis, John Harmon-Brown, Naomi Harmon-Brown, Drakar Purnell, Bella Rhone, Fontel King Rhone, Royal Rhone, Imani Walker and a host of family and friends.

During this time, the family is comforted knowing that he Loved the Lord and had the opportunity to give his life to the Lord before transitioning on February 17, 2021.




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Published in The Daily Times from Feb. 26 to Feb. 27, 2021.
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