The Fayette Tribune, Oak Hill, W.Va.


May 1, 2013

Obituaries — Thursday, May 2, 2013

Okey Paul Blake

Okey Paul Blake died April 26, 2013.

Born Sept. 29, 1920, at Beards Fork, he was the eldest son of the late Calvin C. “Bill” and Willie Harshbarger Blake. Dorothy Blake Breeze, sister, and Carl Blake, brother, also preceded him in death.

Okey was drafted into the U.S. Army in July 1942 and was Honorably Discharged in October 1945 after serving in Italy, Switzerland and Africa during World War II. He loved telling others about his experiences while serving his country. He always wanted to make sure children had enough to eat because of the children he saw in those foreign countries who were hungry.

After his discharge from the Army he went to work for Page Mining Company Store. It was there that he met the love of his life, Tella, or as he affectionately called her, “Mabel.” They were married on April 5, 1947.

Okey surrendered his life to Jesus in February 1952 at Highlawn Baptist Church in St. Albans. Okey and his wife both committed their lives to Jesus that day.

Mr. Blake worked for Milburn By Products Company Store in Milburn until 1955. In 1955 he began his career as store manager for Island Creek Stores Company in Holden. He lived and worked in Holden until October 1982 when he retired and moved to Beckley.

Okey then began to mow grass, wash and wax cars, and do small home repairs for widows in his church, Beckley Regular Baptist. He had a strong work ethic and in his last days he was still talking about working because in his words, “I love to work ... I don’t need the money ... I just love to work.”

He was a member of the Beckley Regular Baptist Church where he attended faithfully. He enjoyed the Senior Citizen group meetings on Tuesdays. The fellowship, food and Bible study were highlights of his week.

Spending the last year of his life at The Summit at Hidden Valley, he loved playing Bingo and talking with the residents and staff. He was passionate about making friends with everyone and making sure they had a smile after talking with him.

Okey’s last days on earth were spent at the Bowers Hospice House in Beckley. He was still making friends and making them smile.

He will be missed by his family but they are comforted by the knowledge that “Those who live in the Lord never see each other for the last time.”

Surviving: his wife of 66 years, Tella Morris Blake; his daughter, Debra Blake Wilson and husband Philip L. Wilson; stepgrandchildren, Philip Lee and Tammie Wilson, Chad and Stacey Wilson Jackson, and Jamie and Katie Wilson; and step great-grandchildren, Tanner Cox, Tyler Sedlock, Hannah Jackson, Hunter, Dylan and Savanna Wilson.

Funeral services were April 28 at Tyree Funeral Home in Oak Hill, with Pastor Philip Wilson (son-in-law) and Pastor Steve Beverly officiating. Burial was at High Lawn Memorial Park, Oak Hill, with military graveside rites by Oak Hill VFW Post #3110.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Beckley Regular Baptist Church, Beckley, WV; Sand Fork Baptist Church, Sand Fork, WV; or Bowers Hospice House, 454 Cranberry Drive, Beckley, WV 25801.

Online condolences may be sent at

Arrangements by Tyree Funeral Home, Oak Hill.

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