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Richard Foster Blake
September 11, 1944 ~ July 5, 2022 (age 77) 77 Years Old
It is with great sadness that the family of Richard Foster Blake announces his passing. Rick
was born on September 11, 1944 and passed away on July 5, 2022 in Palmetto Bay, Florida.
He was 77 years old.
Rick was born and raised in Chicago, IL and, from a young age, exhibited the smarts and work
ethic that made him an Eagle Scout and drove his success in life. He attended DePaul
University where he was president of Phi Kappa Alpha and graduated with honors. It was here
that Rick met the love of his life, Fran, who became his wife of 55 years. Rick enjoyed playing
cards and billiards, and his skill at both helped pay for their first date and defray the cost of
college. Rick went on to graduate school, earning an MBA in marketing from Loyola University.
Rick and Fran then moved to Miami as Rick embarked on what would become a long and
storied career as an airline executive with Eastern Airlines. After almost 30 years at Eastern,
Rick held executive roles at Renaissance Cruises and Northwest Airlines where he was
responsible for the modernization of Northwest’s airline fleet. He went on to help relaunch Pan
Am Airways and served on the boards of the Airlines Reporting Corporation,IATA, Bar Harbor
Airways, the Caribbean Tourism Organization and served as a guest lecturer at the Royal
Aeronautical Society, Oxford England.
Rick and Fran built a happy life in South Florida where free time was spent with their three sons
on the water - boating, fishing, lobstering, and snorkeling. They enjoyed sunny days at Elliot
Key and never missed the first day of lobster sportfishing season - always on the reef before
sunrise. Rick was happiest at the helm of his boat, the Bald Eagle, motoring across Biscayne
Bay with family and friends. Rick’s career also afforded him and Fran the opportunity to travel
and scuba dive around the world together, and gave his kids amazing memories of trips abroad.
His work as an executive for Cayman Airlines also led to a period of living in the Cayman
Islands, where he was able to further indulge in his passion for scuba diving and underwater
Rick’s life was enriched by his love for his family, music, and travel. He played guitar in a
bluegrass band and loved singing and performing - whether at festivals or around a campfire
with friends and family. He had a quick wit, and was an entertaining storyteller - regaling many
with humorous stories, often at his expense. Later in life, Rick rekindled his passion for golf and
cherished his weekly rounds with friends. He loved being a grandfather and made sure he was
present for all of his grandkid’s birthdays.
Rick departs a loving family, including his wife, Frances Blake, their eldest son Richard Blake,
daughter-in-law Carolyn Blake and granddaughter Lauren; their middle son Jonathan Blake,
daughter-in-law Stephanie Blake and grandson Harrison; and their youngest son William Blake,
daughter-in-law Stefanida Blake and grandsons Thomas and James and granddaughter Miriam.
Rick is also survived by his brother, Gary Blake and sister-in-law Cindy Blake, and sister-in-law
Mary Pigato and a loving extended family.
He will be greatly missed, and fondly remembered by all.
There will be a celebration of Rick’s life at the Stanfill Funeral Home at 10545 S Dixie Hwy on
Wednesday, July 13 from 2-6 pm. The family will make remarks at 4:30p and invite others to
share their memories of Rick if they wish.