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Wednesday, June 28, 2023
11:00am - 12:00pm (Eastern time)
Wednesday, June 28, 2023
Starts at 12:00pm (Eastern time)
Henry Lansing Blake, Engineer and Licensed Crane Operator with the IUOE Local 825 until his retirement in May 1993, passed away May 29, 2023 in Kansas City. He moved from Spring Hill, Florida to the Kansas City area in 2021 to be closer to his extended family. His heart belonged to Tennanah Lake, New York and will be interned at the Bon Aire Cemetery in Roscoe.
“Hank” was born October 9, 1930 in Greenwich, NY and lived in Roscoe prior to entering the Air Force in July 1948. After being honorably discharged, he moved to Daytona Beach, Florida and met his first love, Janet Keogan. Returning to Roscoe, they married in 1953 and he began working for the Walsh-Perini New York Tunnel Workers. For several years he worked underground building the shafts and tunnels that were part of the Catskill Watershed project that brought water to NYC from the many reservoirs that were created in upstate NY. This was both hazardous and dangerous work and he lost many friends in accidents during these years. When his father-in-law became ill in 1957, Hank and Janet moved from Roscoe up to Tennanah Lake to run James Keogan’s bar, restaurant, and boarding house. The Tennanah Blake House became the center of social life at the lake for many families. Soon thereafter their daughter Joy was born October 7, 1958.
In the 60’s, Hank began work with Local 825 Operating Engineers and advanced to become a licensed crane operator in both NY and NJ. His skills were a source of pride and he worked on many notable projects such as the Newburgh-Beacon bridge, Bon Secours Hospital, Stewart International Airport, and the NY State Thruway. Retiring in 1993, he occupied his time with golf and became an avid golfer, traveling, sailing, and building his “kit” car. Of course, Hank not one known to follow the instructions, “souped” it up to the point of it being too dangerous to drive on the highway. Hank loved to tell stories of all the automobiles he drove and wrecked.
Not only handy with tools and massive cranes, Hank was an excellent chef and student of all the world had to offer. Having minimal educational opportunity as a child, he was a voracious reader and student of politics, finance, and history. Only vision loss in later years limited his access to the written word, but he persevered.
Henry was known as a man who would offer comfort and shelter to anyone in need. No one would go hungry while the Tennanah Blake House was operational. Young men in need of help who might have lost a father found in Hank someone to offer a little guidance. He would entertain anyone who would listen about his colorful life of wild times, failures and successes, near-death experiences, and his hopes for social justice for everyone.
Henry is survived by his only daughter, Joy Blake-Krug, son-in-law Paul Krug MD, grandchildren Caitlin Elizabeth Krug and Colin James Krug, daughter-in-law Lara Edwards Krug, great grandchildren Blake Bielen Krug and Carter James Krug, all living in the Kansas City area. He was immensely proud of his daughter and blessed to have his family by him for the last two years of his life. He passed quietly at his home after a short illness surrounded by those he loved. Remarkably he enjoyed family gatherings and visitors from his past as recent as four days prior to his death. He was “Hank” to the last hour, smiling to good music and satisfied with life. He did it his way. He will be missed by many.
Visitation will be Wednesday, June 28, 2023 from 11 AM to 12 Noon in the Harris Funeral Home, Railroad Ave. Roscoe, NY. Graveside services and burial will follow at the Bon Air Cemetery, Roscoe, NY. A celebration of Hank’s life will continue at the Roscoe Mountain Club, formerly the Tennanah Lake Golf and Tennis Club.
Memorial contributions in Hank's name may be made to Kansas City: City Union Mission give.cityunionmission.org or 1100 E 11th St., Kansas City, MO 64106 or Roscoe, NY: Roscoe-Rockland Volunteer Amubulance Corps,1969 Old Route 17, Roscoe, NY 12776.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Harris Funeral Home, Railroad Ave. Roscoe, NY 607-498-4929 or 845-439-5200 or www.Harris-FH.com