Sad passing of popular businessman Joe Blake

THE recent death of well-known Enniskillen businessman Joe Blake has been met with much sadness in the local community.
Mr Blake of Old Rossorry Road, passed away peacefully after a short illness in the South West Acute Hospital, last Thursday.
He was the third child of William and Catherine Blake. His father William, who came from the Derrylin area, bought Blakes of the Hollow Bar in 1929, and Joe grew up ‘above the bar’. His mother Catherine (Kitty) Gormley had been a school teacher. Their family of ten included Pat, Joe, Donal, Arthur, Liam, Marie, Christine, Briege, Anne and Margaret.
After attending the Presentation Brothers’ Primary School in Enniskillen he continued his education in Dublin where he boarded at Castleknock College with his brothers and cousins. He made many lifelong friendships there. And it was at Castleknock that he cultivated a love of rugby, a love which lasted a lifetime.
Mr Blake studied at University College Dublin, qualifying as a chartered accountant, working in Dublin and Galway, before settling back in his beloved Fermanagh, to work as an accountant and in the family business. He was a loyal son returning to help his father in the family business when he became ill. He also continued to practice as a Chartered Accountant with offices on Church Street.
He is pre-deceased by his brothers Donal (the very popular manager of Blake’s of the Hollow) and Liam, (a well-known Fermanagh Artist). He is also pre-deceased by his sisters Marie Devlin (Omagh) and sisters Anne and Christine Blake. Marie worked in the family business before moving to Omagh. Christine was a sister in the Convent of Mercy Enniskillen.
Mr Blake is survived by his sister Margaret who lives in Dublin and brothers Pat who ran Pat’s Bar as well as Arthur who managed the Melvin House Restaurant. The family business was a real hive of activity and included a bottling plant for Guinness and Powers. He loved all the staff and ‘old retainers’ who were such a huge part of his youth. He served his time helping out behind the bar, washing glasses, and helping on the delivery runs.
He met the love of his life, Kathleen McCullagh, in the Astoria Ballroom in Bundoran, when she was on holidays and out for the night with her sisters. They were married for almost 55 years.
Mr Blake was a dedicated and very hands-on father to Mary Blake, Anne McCann, Cathy Murphy, and Michael Blake. He was extremely proud of his children, and his ten grandchildren who now carry on his legacy into the future.
A Requiem Mass in celebration of his life took place on was celebrated by Fr Raymond Donnelly, concelebrated by Fr Michael McCullagh, and assisted by Fr Donncha O’ hAodha before burial at Cross Cemetery.
Mr Blake is survived by his wife Kathleen and children Mary (Gordon), Ann (Des), Cathy (Matthew), and Michael (Anne). As well as grandchildren Matthew, Peter, Tim, Niamh, Joe, Orla, Edward, Caoimhe, Oskar and Sora.
He also leaves siblings Pat, Arthur and Margaret. He was pre-deceased by Briege, Liam, Anne, Donal, Sr Christine & Marie (Devlin).

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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