Walter T. Blake

Published 10:00 pm Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Walter True Blake was born in Novinger, Mo., on Oct. 24, 1914, one of three children of True Walter Blake and Marion Histed Blake. His father, a mining engineer, moved his family to Welland, Ontario, Canada, and then to Niagara Falls, NY.
Walter graduated with honors from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1937. He served in the U. S. Army in ordnance during World War II at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., and in the Korean Conflict at White Sands Proving Ground, N.M. In the Army, he was known for his ability to manage people. He retired with the rank of Colonel. (A recurring dream was that a mistake had been made, and that he had actually been promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. As he advanced into his 90s, in his dream he became a Major General.)
In civilian life, Walter was Director of Research at Pillsbury Mills in Minneapolis, Minn., and later was co-owner and Executive Vice President of C. W. Brabender Instruments, a manufacturer of testing equipment for the food and plastics industries in New Jersey. At that time the family lived in Ridgewood.
After his retirement he was, for a short time, a volunteer consultant in Turkey.
In 1944 Walter married U.S. Army Captain, Susan Elizabeth Stoll, who predeceased him. They had two daughters, Susan Jr. and Gretchen. After retiring, Walter and Susan Sr. lived in Santa Barbara, Cali., and Hilton Head, S.C., before moving to Tryon, N.C. He was always a devoted family man, a loving and supportive father, grandfather, uncle and husband.
In 1997, Walter married Anne Cooley Bonacker, whom he affectionately called his “bride” throughout their 17-year marriage. They enjoyed traveling overseas and locally, and spending time at their home in Tryon.
Walter was always intellectually engaged, even-tempered, energetic and happy. He inspired affection for his kindness, quick wit and wise counsel. His interests included spending time with his family, traveling, trail riding, sailing, and U. S. history, especially of the 19th-century West; he was always a voracious reader. Following in his father’s footsteps, he was a long-time member of Rotary International, often attending meetings on overseas trips. He was for several years a member of St. Luke’s Anglican Church.
Walter lives on through his widow, Anne; his daughters, Susan Stoll Blake, Jr. and Gretchen Blake Roy; his granddaughters, Jacqueline Blake Roy and Margo Roy Barajas; his sister, Barbara Blake Bell; his step-daughter, Ellen Pohle, who was a devoted support during his last few years; his son-in-law, Joel Kaufmann; and also through several cousins, nieces and nephews. In addition to Susan Sr., his sister June Blake Wilde predeceased him.
Services were private.
An online guest register is available at

McFarland Funeral Chapel
Tryon, NC

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox