June 2, 2014
Jack Evans Blake
Jack Evans Blake, 91 years young, passed away peacefully Monday, June 2, 2014, surrounded by his family. Born October 6, 1922, in Houston, Harris County, Texas, to William Mark Blake and Marion Tipton Rowland Blake, he saw much of the Southwest as a child. Living in Houston until the ripe old age of six months, Jack moved to Oklahoma City (1923-1927), Amarillo (1927-1929), San Antonio (1929-1930), Fort Worth, where he caught a brief glimpse of his future bride, Carol Jo (1930-1931), Hobart, Oklahoma (1931-1935), and Lubbock 1935-1941. Jack's happiest childhood memories were of his time spent in Hobart with his Grandmother Rowland and Aunt Stella, and in the employ of Levine Brothers Clothiers in Lubbock. In summer, 1941, Jack moved to Long Beach, California, and remained there until his graduation from Long Beach Polytechnic High School in January, 1942, as its Salutatorian.
After graduation, Jack completed training as a ship fitter and worked in the California Shipyards in San Pedro, California, building 10,500 Ton Liberty Ships until September, 1942, when he enrolled at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas. During a short semester at Texas Tech, Jack joined the Civilian Pilot Training Program. After high blood pressure precluded his training as a pilot, he enlisted in the Army Air Corp in December, 1942, and served in Australia, New Guinea, and the Philippines, attaining the grade of Staff Sergeant. In the Philippines, he competed in and won a contest to organize and design the parts depot at Clark Field. He received a Purple Heart (Malaria) and Honorable Discharge in January, 1946.
Returning to Texas Tech, Jack met and fell in love with Carol Jo Wheeler. After graduating with a B.A. Degree from Texas Tech University in 1949, Jack moved to Midland to begin his employment with Amerada Petroleum Company in the Production Department. Jack married Carol Jo on February 25, 1950, in Fort Worth, Texas, and honeymooned until they ran out of cash in Mineral Wells (on the way to Santa Fe). They began their married life in Midland where they raised their four children during their 64 year union.
In April, 1951, Jack left Amerada to join Gulf Oil Corporation in the Land Department, with responsibilities as a Landman and Crude Oil Purchaser. In April, 1955, Jack went independent from Gulf and began purchasing and selling oil and gas leases in many counties, with a focus on the Delaware Basin Counties of Ward, Reeves and Loving, Texas. The telephone number printed on his stationery in 1955 continues to field calls from astonished heirs of the recipients of his correspondence to this day.
Jack has served as a worthy example to others in the petroleum industry and elsewhere that a man's word is his bond, and that respect, fairness, and forthrightness is essential. This individual lived a life defined by his favorite quotes, "Do right and fear not!" and "This is the best year we've ever had!"
Jack actively contributed to and supported his community. During his days at Amerada and Gulf, and the early days as an Independent, Jack was Scoutmaster for 2 years of the Boy Scout Troop associated with the Rotary Club. Jack also founded and was Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 233 associated with Memorial Christian Church. Carol Jo and Jack were founding members of Memorial Christian Church. Later, after joining Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity, Jack served as Senior Warden and on the Vestry and Search Committee of Holy Trinity. Jack was a founding Director of the Southwest Oilman's Tennis Tournament (SWOTT).
Jack and Carol Jo have contributed to and supported Texas Tech University, Texas Christian University, The University of Texas at Austin, Reeves County, and The City of Pecos, and actively support Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale, Museum of the Southwest, Midland Community Theater, The Permian Basin Petroleum Museum, Midland College, and Midland Memorial Hospital. Industry memberships, past and present, include the IPAA, AAPL, PBLA, NGPA, and TIPRO.
Jack was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, William Mark Blake, Robert W. Blake and his wife, Marion, George B. Blake, Sam R. Blake and his wife, Dorothy, and John D. Blake. Jack is survived by his loving wife, Carol Jo, his sister, Janice Anderson (Andy) of Stockton, California, and their children, Jack E. Blake, Jr. (Mary) of Midland, Texas, Bruce W. Blake (Tina) of Liberty, Texas, Carolyn Blake Johnston (David K.) of Anchorage, Alaska, and Mark D. Blake (Paige) of Austin, Texas; grandchildren Banaise Blake (Amy) and Spencer Blake (Diana), of Midland, Texas, Riley Blake Leader (Bennett) of Austin, Texas, Jessica Blake of Washington, DC, Alex Blake of Houston, Texas, Kyle Johnston (Katie) and Katelyn Johnston, of Anchorage, Alaska, Caroline Blake of Honolulu, Hawaii, and Ross Blake of Austin, Texas; and great grandchildren Sam Blake, Sawyer Blake, Sterling Blake, and Ellie Blake of Midland, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity: 1400 Illinois, Midland, Texas 79701, Midland Memorial Foundation: 2200 W. Illinois, Midland, Texas 79701, or to the Midland College Foundation. If you wish to make an donation to the MC Foundation, visit Give a Gift for an online donation, or you can mail your donation to:
MIDLAND COLLEGE FOUNDATION, INC.
3600 N. GARFIELD · MIDLAND, TX 79705