Maiden Name: n/a
Joe M. Blake passed away on Nov. 20, 2012, in Norman. He was born on Sept. 22, 1926, in Howe, to William T. and Lillie A. (McCasson) Blake. He was the youngest of five brothers and two sisters. After losing his parents at a young age, he lived with siblings and attended Seminole schools. Before his graduation from high school, he felt an obligation to serve his country during World War II. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps as a cadet in pilot training until the war’s end in 1945. He was then assigned to occupational duty in Germany where he played on the USAFE Basketball and Baseball teams that participated in the European Championship Tournaments in Nuremberg. He had the opportunity to witness the Nazi War Criminal Trials and often commented that he obtained an invaluable education from this experience. After his discharge from the military, he obtained an honorary high school diploma and enrolled at the University of Oklahoma. His studies were in history and geography as well as being a member of the OU baseball team. While in school he met Ouida Spaulding. They dated through the school year but in the spring, professional teams came calling and Joe signed a contract with the Chicago Cubs organization. He left Norman and played professionally for two years, returning to ask Ouida to be his wife. Two weeks later they were married on June 27, 1950, at the First Methodist Church in Ouida’s hometown of Tipton. For the next five years, the couple enjoyed the travels and experiences of baseball life with both the major and minor leagues. They returned to Norman to finish their college degrees and upon graduation, Joe was accepted into the management training program at Tinker Air Force Base. After 35 years, he retired from Tinker with expertise in material management, aircraft production and supply operations. Joe was very active in his children’s activities including school sports, helping with American Legion Baseball, 10 years as Scoutmaster of Troop 241 and the Girl Scouts. He was a member of McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church, an avid sports fan and was a lifetime member of the OU Alumni Association
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Robert, Monroe, Sam, Billy and Dean; sisters, Beulah and Lula; and in-laws Hubert and Vera Spaulding. Joe is survived by Ouida, his wife of 62 years; sons, Cameron with wife Chris of San Diego, Calif., and Linden; daughter, Dallas Chapman with husband Greg of Norman; grandchildren, Danielle Batson of Moore, Ryan Blake with wife Jennifer of Austin, Texas, and Meredith and Messina Chapman, both of Norman; nephews, James A. Blake with wife Carole of Yukon, and Don Blake with wife Flora of Edmond; and nieces Nancy Coggins with husband Preston of Norman, and Linda Jackson with husband Howard of Reno, Nev.