William S. “Bill” Blake, 69, of Bastrop, Louisiana, passed away on March 23, 2021, surrounded by family at his daughter’s home in Greenbriar, Arkansas.
He was born on November 1, 1951, to his parents, Douglas and Evie Pennington Blake, and grew up in Crossett, Arkansas.
While in high school, he played right guard for the Crossett Eagles football team and was a 1970 graduate of Crossett High School.
Soon after graduation, Bill joined the United States Army, where he found his purpose in life, being a soldier and serving his country.
Starting in the infantry, Bill trained and became a paratrooper and soon found himself in the middle of the Vietnam Conflict. Many years later, he retired from active duty after receiving many commendations and medals, including the prestigious purple heart.
After retiring from the U.S. Army and Bemis Bag Co., he continued to work at various jobs for many years.
Along with his many accomplishments, Worshipful Brother William Sherman “Tank” Blake was initiated an Entered Apprentice Mason on July 1, 1981, in Vilsek, Germany. He was passed to the Degree of Fellowcraft on July 5, 2011, in Mt. Gerizim Lodge #54 in Bastrop, Louisiana. He was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason on August 16, 2011, in Mt. Gerizim Lodge. He served that lodge as Master in 2015, 2016, 2017 & 2019. He was District Deputy Grand Master of the 7th Masonic District in 2018-2019. He was High Priest of Livingstone Chapter #16, Royal Arch Masons, Illustrious Master of Morehouse Council #50, Royal & Select Masters, and Eminent Commander of Monroe Commandry #7, Knights Templar. He was a member of Ouachita Conclave Order of the Red Cross of Constantine, John of Patmos Priory of the Knight York Cross of Honor. He was Past Wise Master of the Monroe Chapter of Rose Croix as well as Past Commander of the Monroe Knights of St. Andrew. He was also a member of the Monroe Court of the Knight Commander of the Cross of Honor. His highest office held was at the time of his passing, the Deputy Grand Illustrious Master of the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of the State of Louisiana.
Bill’s hobbies included fishing, hunting, and especially playing golf. He was a highly intelligent man who loved history. He was a natural leader and a true friend to all who knew him. He was proud and always loyal to his country and his family. A true soldier until the end.
He is preceded in death by his mother, Evie Merlee Blake; and two grandchildren, Joshua and Brittany.
He is survived by his twin children, daughter, Shawnda Blake (Mac Papera) of Greenbriar; and son, Timothy Shawn Blake (Sherry Shaw) of Lincoln, ME; his father and stepmother, Douglas, and Marie Blake of Crossett; along with four grandchildren, Timothy Blake, Jr., Melissa Blake, and Jack and Brandon Papera; two great-grandchildren, Atticus, and Lily; and his lifelong friend and mother of his children, Rhonda Kellum of Conway.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held Monday, March 29 at 2 p.m. at Medders Funeral Home, 1564 Hwy 52 W, Crossett, with Bro. Ronnie Meredith, officiating.
Interment with masonic and military honors at Crossroads Cemetery will follow the service.
Visitation will be held Sunday from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Stop Soldier Suicide Organization.