Richard Blake, CGCS-Retired and a past president of GCSAA, died on Jan. 23, 2009. President of GCSAA in 1971, Blake was an advocate for education, certification and the environment, including responsible pesticide use, water pollution and destructive land use, well before the issues gained national attention.
Out of high school, he enlisted in the Marine Corps following World War II and rose to the rank of sergeant in two years. After his service, he enrolled at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts. However, after one year of school, he was recalled to serve in the Korean Conflict, after which he returned to UMass. Blake also completed a course at Rutgers University in turf management.
His first job as a superintendent was at Webb Brook Golf Club in Billerica, Mass., and he was serving as superintendent at Mount Pleasant Country Club in Boylston, Mass., when he was elected to GCSAA’s presidency.
He was actively involved in the New England GCSA, serving as the group’s newsletter editor, director, vice president, and president in 1970. Also active in his community of Boylston, Mass., Blake was chairman of the town’s Conservation Commission, a member of the Land Development Commission and a member of the planning board. A memorial service is planned for this spring. He is survived by his wife, Elaine Blake.
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