Obituary : Eileen Blake
Eileen Blake, 73, of West Tisbury, died after a brief illness. She was born in Barnstable, the daughter of Manuel and Agnes Sousa. She was a graduate of Barnstable High School, class of 1953. Prior to moving to Martha's Vineyard, she lived in various parts of the U.S. - from Hyannis to Honolulu. She loved Martha's Vineyard and made it her home for over 40 years.
In addition to raising her young family, she worked in various Island restaurants; she performed bookkeeping and tax preparation, worked in the school system, and in 1973, launched her now famous Eileen Blake's Pies & Otherwise. From a roadside beginning to an established Island icon, Eileen Blake's Pies have satisfied everyone from famous movie directors to a U.S. President and most importantly, her Island community. The success of her famous pie business was featured in numerous publications, including The New Yorker magazine, the Boston Globe and Washington Post, and was awarded a top ten ranking from the Phantom Gourmet. She also was featured in a recently released children's book. Many charities benefited from her successful pie business, such as Island Hospice, AIDS Camp, Red Stocking Fund, Special Olympics, and countless others.
Eileen also found time to establish a teen drop-in center, taught Sunday school at the Congregational Church in West Tisbury, and was an avid collector of cookbooks.
She is survived by her husband, Roger C. Blake Jr. of West Tisbury; by her children, Albert Robbins III, Ruth Anne Griswald, Debra Katebaugh, Katherine Eldredge of Cape Cod; Robert Blake of Clinton; Irene LaCross of Rutland; Erik and Lynn Blake of Oak Bluffs; Mary and Gary Ellis of Falmouth; and by grandchildren, Joshua and Brandon LaCross, Parker and Izabella Blake, and two more on the way. She is also survived by her siblings Robert Sousa, Ruth Franklin, and Nancy Holcomb of Barnstable. She also leaves behind her surrogate granddaughters Anya and Connie Toteanu of West Tisbury.
A memorial service will be held in September. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to VNA, P.O. Box 2568, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557, Tri-Town Ambulance, P.O. Box 340, Chilmark, MA 02535, or Hospice of Martha's Vineyard, P.O. Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.
Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home on Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road in Oak Bluffs. Visit ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.