OBITUARY

C. Richard "Rich" Blakley

May 25, 1938March 24, 2018
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Rich Blakley of Springfield and Port Charlotte, FL during the winter golf season passed away on March 24. He was 79 years old.

Rich grew up farming on the family farm near Pawnee. He attended Pawnee High School where he played football and played the trombone in the band. He graduated in 1956. Given his short stature, on the football field he gave new meaning to the phrase “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of fight in the dog.”

Rich attended Illinois State University and earned a degree in agriculture in 1961. After graduating he began working for Farm Services in Champaign as a salesperson. In 1963, Rich began a thirteen year career as a farm manager for the Marine Bank. As a farm manager Rich had an abiding belief in the family farm. He contributed to the success of many Central Illinois farm families by introducing them to modern farm business practices. In 1969, Rich started Blakley Lawns, Inc. In 1976, Rich started Midstates Warehouse, a Springfield agribusiness that distributed pot ash fertilizer for use by farmers throughout the Midwest. Originally, Rich served as the manager of the business. Over the years he became the president of Midstates Warehouse and later the chairman of its board. Despite these lofty titles, he climbed into the cab of an end loader nearly every day to move fertilizer until his retirement in 2016. Following his retirement, Rich served Midstates Warehouse as chairman emeritus of its board.

In 1960, Rich married Judith Rae Mitchell. In 1968, Rich married Ann Lawrence. They each brought four children into the marriage. Rich took great pride in providing for his children. He raised his children to understand the value of hard work and he beamed with pride at their many accomplishments. The Blakley family home was the scene of large family gatherings at nearly every holiday. The holiday memories of grandchildren playing in front of a warm fire in Rich and Ann’s living room will endure forever. Sadly, Ann passed away in 2007. Rich married Margret Giddings in 2015.

Rich has a long history of charitable service with the Breakfast Sertoma Club of Springfield. He served on the board of Sertoma International and was the board’s president from 1995 to 1997.

Rich had very few vices but golf was chief among them. Rich was a fixture at many local public golf courses and at the Edgewood Golf Club in Auburn. For many years Rich wintered in Florida to play golf. He scored his hole in one on the 17th hole at Edgewood.

Rich is survived by his children Cheryl (Peter) Wise of Springfield, IL, Lynda Simon (Jim) of Bartlett, IL, Linda Blakey, Tom Lawrence (Kim), Scott Blakley, Christina Neely of Springfield, IL and Tom Blakley of Milwaukee, WI. A daughter, Nancy Boyer predeceased Rich. He is also survived by six sisters and a brother in law and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

By any objective measure Rich Blakley’s life was defined by hard work, responsibility and determination. His commitment to his family will be forever treasured.

Friends and family may honor Rich by attending a funeral service at Bisch Funeral Home West 2931 S. Koke Mill Rd. Springfield, IL at 1:00 pm Friday, March 30, 2018. Friends and family will gather for visitation beginning at 11:00 am at the funeral home. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to St. Martin de Porres Center 1301 S. Martin Luther King Dr. Springfield, IL 62703 or Sertoma International 1912 E. Meyer Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64132 www.sertoma.org

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.bischfuneralhome.com Arrangements are in the care of Bisch Funeral Home West 217-544-5424

  • DONATIONS

  • St. Martin de Porres Center
  • Sertoma International

Services

  • Visitation Friday, March 30, 2018
  • Funeral Service Friday, March 30, 2018
REMEMBERING

C. Richard "Rich" Blakley

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Dave Humphreville

March 28, 2018

I worked for Rich through high school and my summers in college. Rich taught me a great deal about hard work, perseverance and life in general. He was tough and gruff but always fair with a heart of gold. He was a major positive influence in my life through my formative years. For that I will always be grateful. Rich was a good man, a good boss and a good neighbor.

Paul Rosenberger

March 28, 2018

I was sorry to learn of Rich's passing. He was a long-time friend in the Springfield Sertoma Breakfast and Railsplitters' Clubs , District, Region, and International Office. He helped strengthen those groups throughout many years of service to mankind. May he rest in peace. Paul

D. F.

March 27, 2018

To the beloved family. May the compassion of God bind up your broken heart, and provide peace and comfort from the pain of your bereavement.

FROM THE FAMILY
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Biography

Rich Blakley of Springfield and Port Charlotte, FL during the winter golf season passed away on March 24. He was 79 years old.

Rich grew up farming on the family farm near Pawnee. He attended Pawnee High School where he played football and played the trombone in the band. He graduated in 1956.
Given his short stature, on the football field he gave new meaning to the phrase “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of fight in the dog.”

Rich attended Illinois State University and earned a degree in agriculture in 1961. After graduating he began working for Farm Services in Champaign as a salesperson. In 1963, Rich began a thirteen year career as a farm manager for the Marine Bank. As a farm manager Rich had an abiding belief in the family farm. He contributed to the success of many Central Illinois farm families by introducing them to modern farm business practices. In 1969, Rich started Blakley Lawns, Inc. In 1976, Rich started Midstates Warehouse, a Springfield agribusiness that distributed pot ash fertilizer for use by farmers throughout the Midwest. Originally, Rich served as the manager of the business. Over the years he became the president of Midstates Warehouse and later the chairman of its board. Despite these lofty titles, he climbed into the cab of an end loader nearly every day to move fertilizer until his retirement in 2016. Following his retirement, Rich served Midstates Warehouse as chairman emeritus of its board.

In 1960, Rich married Judith Rae Mitchell. In 1968, Rich married Ann Lawrence. They each brought four children into the marriage. Rich took great pride in providing for his children. He raised his children to understand the value of hard work and he beamed with pride at their many accomplishments. The Blakley family home was the scene of large family gatherings at nearly every holiday. The holiday memories of grandchildren playing in front of a warm fire in Rich and Ann’s living room will endure forever. Sadly, Ann passed away in 2007. Rich married Margret Giddings in 2015.

Rich has a long history of charitable service with the Breakfast Sertoma Club of Springfield. He served on the board of Sertoma International and was the board’s president from 1995 to 1997.

Rich had very few vices but golf was chief among them. Rich was a fixture at many local public golf courses and at the Edgewood Golf Club in Auburn. For many years Rich wintered in Florida to play golf. He scored his hole in one on the 17th hole at Edgewood.

Rich is survived by his children Cheryl (Peter) Wise of Springfield, IL, Lynda Simon (Jim) of Bartlett, IL, Linda Blakey, Tom Lawrence (Kim), Scott Blakley, Christina Neely of Springfield, IL and Tom Blakley of Milwaukee, WI. A daughter, Nancy Boyer predeceased Rich. He is also survived by six sisters and a brother in law and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

By any objective measure Rich Blakley’s life was defined by hard work, responsibility and determination. His commitment to his family will be forever treasured.

Friends and family may honor Rich by attending a funeral service at Bisch Funeral Home West 2931 S. Koke Mill Rd. Springfield, IL at 1:00 pm Friday, March 30, 2018. Friends and family will gather for visitation beginning at 11:00 am at the funeral home. Interment will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to St. Martin de Porres Center 1301 S. Martin Luther King Dr. Springfield, IL 62703 or Sertoma International 1912 E. Meyer Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64132 www.sertoma.org

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.bischfuneralhome.com
Arrangements are in the care of Bisch Funeral Home West 217-544-5424