Jack R. Blake

March 5, 1926November 29, 2018

Jack Richard Blake was born March 5, 1926, in Ottumwa Iowa.

The son of Harry C. and Helen Castel Blake. He married Norma Jean Stuart on April 4, 1947, in Chariton, IA. They celebrated their 72nd anniversary in 2018.

Prior to his marriage, Jack had attended school in Afton Iowa and Russell Iowa, graduating from Russell high school in 1944. He then entered the army during World War II, June 1944 to June 1946. He served in combat in Europe as a member of the 89th infantry division which was attached to General Patton's third army. He received the combat badge and the campaign ribbon with two battle stars on V.E. Day, 1945. He was then sent to Austria as a member of the occupational army. He was discharged as a sergeant June 18, 1946.

Jack entered Simpson College in Indianola, IA, using the GI Bill, in September 1946. He graduated in 1950 with his B.A. degree in secondary education with an emphasis on social studies and athletic coaching. He also received his M.S. degree in education from Western Illinois University in 1978. While attending Simpson, Jack played basketball on the varsity first team all four years. In 1948, he led the "Iowa Conference" in field goals scored and was 5th in total points. He was honored by being named on the "All-Conference" team as a guard in 1948.

He retired in 1991 from the Bettendorf High School, after teaching in the social studies department for 28 years. During this time, Jack served as the department's team leader for ten years and also coached basketball and baseball for ten years. Prior to his tenure at Bettendorf H.S.; he was a teacher and coach in south central Iowa, at the Dallas Iowa High School for a period of four years. Jack was also employed as a sales rep for an oil company in Central and Eastern Iowa for eight years.

Jack was an avid fan of most athletic events and enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren participate in sports and extracurricular activities. He enjoyed traveling with his family during his summer vacation. Jack and Norma took two trips to Europe after retirement, they also traveled the US in their motorhome.

Jack was a longtime member of the First Presbyterian Church of Davenport, IA; the American Legion and VFW Posts of Bettendorf, IA. He was a member of the 89th infantry division society and attended their reunions.

He is survived by his wife of 72 years, Norma Jean of Bettendorf; son Randy (Debbie) Blake of Kernersville NC; daughters, Janet (Dr. C.H.) Cathcart of Lufkin, TX, Karilyn (Mark) Wood of Bettendorf IA, and Jeanne (David) Johnson of Davenport, IA; stepsister, Judy (John) Christensen of Lake of The Hills, IL, 11 Grandchildren, 24 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, stepfather, George H. Beardsley; sister, Jean Kruzic, and brother James A. Blake.


  • Visitation Monday, December 3, 2018
  • Funeral Service Monday, December 3, 2018

Jack R. Blake

have a memory or condolence to add?

Bruce&Basha Scott

December 1, 2018

We are sorry for you family's loss.Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Bruce &Basha

Matt Nemec

December 1, 2018

Thank you for taking your time with us on the baseball field, you were a kind man and I have nothing but great memories of those summer's...god speed !!!