Saturday, December 2, 2023

Honoring Our Local Veterans – Milton Blake

Milton Blake is a beloved and long-time resident of the Southlake community. He and his late wife, Beverly Blake, relocated to Southlake 15 years ago from Chicago to live near his daughter, Robin Cornish and her late husband Frank Cornish.

Blake and his wife were both active members in the community. She served as the Senior Advisor Commission chair while  he actively participates in the Mayor’s Alliance for Unity and Culture.

Before he and his family decided to make Southlake home, Blake was a very active member of the military. He served 32 years in the U.S. Army.

Blake always knew he was destined to serve. When he was a young boy, he participated in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts. As a teenager, he participated in JROTC and eventually became commander of his high school unit.

After high school, Blake attended Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. He graduated in 1957, which is the same year he was drafted to the U.S. Army.

He attended basic training in Colorado at Fort Carson and was quickly promoted to trainee leader for his platoon.

He was later transferred to Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland where he worked in construction drafting, which included weapon plans. While he was there, Blake was recommended to participate in a post soldier competition, a contest where the top performers compete against other units. Blake won.

Not to long after his victory, Blake enrolled into cadet school at Fort Benning, Georgia and graduated as second lieutenant in 1959.

Following graduation, he transferred to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri where he continued to train troops for six months.

His expertise in training others led him to working for the Army’s training division.

Blake traveled to various states to train troops for the remainder of his career. He moved through the ranks as company commander, battalion executive officer, battalion commander and concluded his career in the G-2 (intelligence) unit. He retired as a lieutenant colonel.

After retirement, Blake returned to his childhood roots in Chicago and worked for the Reserve Office Association where he presented awards to high performing JROTC units at local high schools.

As things started to slow down, Blake and his wife, decided to make Southlake their second home for years to come. Blake lost his wife in August 2019. They were married 59 years. They have two children together, daughter Robin Cornish, and late son Milton Blake Jr., as well as five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Blake summed up what Veterans Day means to him in just a few words.

“It’s a celebration of patriotism and celebration of veterans and armed forces, he said. “Today they are honored for their services.”

If you happen to see Blake, be sure to thank him for his service.

Remembering Beverly Blake, Senior Advisory Commission Chairwoman

Southlake Senior Advisory Commission Chairwoman Beverly Blake passed away on August 30, 2019; she was 83 years old.

Beverly was married to her husband Milton for nearly 59 years, and they are the proud parents of two children, daughter Robin Cornish and their late son, Milton Blake. They’re also grandparents to five grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Beverly Blake at the Frank Cornish IV Park Rededication Ceremony, October 2017.

“Beverly Blake was one of the most honest people I’ve ever met. She spoke truth, but did it in a way that invited people in,” said Mayor Laura Hill.  “Her leadership was invaluable when it came to bringing people to the table to talk and work together towards common goals.  We also saw her warm and tender side with her friends and family; she is a treasure, and Southlake was blessed to have her in our community.”

Mrs. Blake’s passion for service was at the center of her life. An educator for more than 40 years, she was a principal of two schools in the Chicago school system. She was also very involved in her church and recently served as a pastor’s assistant.

Beverly and Milton came to Southlake to be closer to their family including daughter, Robin Cornish, wife to the late Frank Cornish, and the Cornish children Frank V, Blake, Gabrielle, Sydney, and Sarah. Beverly and Milton also have a great-grandchild, Quincy.

A resident of Southlake for nearly 15 years, Beverly was active at the Southlake Senior Center playing weekly bridge, attending the weekly Monday luncheon and participating in the special senior events and dances that took place at Legends Hall. She also served on the Senior Advisory Commission (SAC). She was first appointed to the SAC in 2010, and then was elected chairperson in June of 2016.

“Beverly was a great champion for our Seniors,” said Community Services Director Chris Tribble. “Her can-do attitude and her spirit for life made her so easy to be around and to work alongside. She asked for our best when it came to the City’s senior programming and services. We are grateful that her vibrant vision will live on in the Southlake Senior Community.”

Beverly’s funeral services will take place in at St. James Lutheran Church in Chicago on Saturday, September 7, 2019.