Donald Blake

Obituary of Donald James Blake

Donald James Blake, age 86, of Iowa City, Iowa, died Monday, September 9, 2019, at Legacy Retirement Community in Iowa City.

Donald was born on November 2, 1932, in Dearborn, Michigan, the son of Arnold and Edyth (Williams) Blake. He graduated from Dearborn High School and continued his education at Capital University and Trinity Seminary, where he received his Master of Divinity.

In 1963, he was united in marriage with Mary Ingeborg Otteson in Owatonna, MN. Over the years, they lived in Michigan, Minnesota, Florida and New York.

Donald served many congregations over the years, in the American Lutheran Church (ALC) and later the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA), including St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Port Jefferson, New York, St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Port Jervis, New York and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Port Charlotte, Florida. He was most recently a member of Messiah Lutheran Church in Cape Coral, Florida.

In his free time, Donald enjoyed sailing, and racing his S2 class sailboat. One of the highlights of Don’s life was in 1965-1966, when he and Mary took a year long trip around the world on a sailboat called the Verona. He and Mary spent their summers at the Chatauqua Institution in New York after their retirement and this helped to continue their love of learning.

Donald is survived by two sons, Douglas (Christine) Blake of Iowa City, Iowa and Harvey (Tracy) Blake of Glen Rock, New Jersey; five grandchildren, Andrew, Matthew and Miriam Blake, Colin and Jack Blake; one brother, Gerald Blake of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; his brothers-in-law, David (Barbara) Otteson of Big Timber, Montana and James (Barbara “Bobbi”) Otteson of Owatonna, Minnesota; numerous nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Arnold and Edyth (Williams) Blake; wife, Mary (Otteson) Blake; one brother, Edsel Blake, and sister-in-law, Carol Blake.

A private remembrance time and graveside service will be held in Chatauqua, New York at a later date.

Memorials may be directed to The Chatauqua Fund, in honor of Donald and Mary Blake:

To share a thought, memory or condolence with Don’s family please visit the funeral home website @


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