Deceased July 15, 2023

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Blake grew up in Providence, R.I., attending Moses Brown School (class of ’49), as I (Buck) did, but I did not really get to know him well until Amherst, when we were both members of Tug Kennedy’s swimming team. Blake and Don Simon ’53 competed in the backstroke. He was a member of Theta Delta Chi, and he and Don were roommates for three years. 

Blake’s remarkable career after Amherst occupied a full column in small print in his obituary in The New York Times (July 25, 2023): surgeon, educator, adventurer and outsized influence against the causes of cancer, particularly in his successful confrontation of the tobacco industry. He was a model and personal influence for many young colleagues. He was a forceful, thoughtful, intellectual leader in all fields he touched and never shied away from adventures, intellectual and nautical, throughout his life. His immense influence and contributions were recognized in all the many organizations in which he participated, including a professorship at Harvard Medical School, and the presidency of and many awards from professional societies. His publications numbered more than 300 articles. Everything he did with his full energy and keen intellect.

He was an avid skier, sailor and early champion for change to address the climate crisis. He will be remembered for his innovative design of his cat-ketch Wobegon Daze. A member of the Cruising Club of America, he sailed the Canadian Maritimes and the Caribbean, sailed transatlantic and circumnavigated Newfoundland. 

He leaves behind his children from a previous marriage—Brian of Deerfield, Mass; Suzanne Stapleton of Gainesville, Fla.; Pamela of Arlington, Mass.—son-in-law Michael Stapleton, and grandchildren Nathaniel and Benjamin. 

Blake’s loving and devoted wife, Dorothy, along with hospice, cared for him at home. He was fully himself to his last day. 

Buck Greenough ’53 and Don Sutherland ’53