Gordon Robert Blake, 72, of Buda, Texas, died Feb. 17, 2022, surrounded by his devoted wife of 43 years, Candace, and their children.
Gordon, son of Zada Metzler Blake and Gordon John Blake, and proud big brother to Tara, Scott and Dan, was born in Batavia, NY, and raised in neighboring Wyoming. He attended Wyoming Central School, where he was elected senior class president in 1968, earned the rank of Eagle Scout, and enjoyed playing football and basketball. Attending basketball games with his father in Boston and New York sparked a love for the sport, which he played, refereed, coached and watched over the years.
Gordon attended Canisius College in Buffalo, NY, for a year before enlisting in the military. During a brief posting in Washington, DC, he studied at the State Department for a position as an interpreter and interrogator. He studied Cambodian clubs by day and jazz clubs by night.
Upon his transfer to Fort Hood, Texas, he quickly fell in love with Austin and then Candace, whom he met at a mutual friend’s party. They had been practically inseparable since that first date at Denny’s. They married on April 29, 1978, and lived an idyllic life in Austin in the 1970s while he graduated from the University of Texas at Austin while bartending at the original Matt’s El Rancho.
For a time, he and Candace also lived in New Mexico, where he enjoyed hiking and watching lightning strike over the Sandia Mountains during a summer rainstorm. They moved from Austin to Buda in 1985. He worked at Motorola in various roles for 38 years before retiring in 2016.
As a steadfast husband, he had a calming presence, was fun to be around, and could hold his own in any conversation. He welcomed each of his three children – Will, Ryan and Molly – into the world alongside Candace and loved, supported and encouraged them tirelessly. His children were his proudest accomplishment, and he loved Molly’s partner, Dustin Seymour, and Ryan’s wife, Suzanne Krause, as if they were his own. Later, he couldn’t have been happier than to see them go on adventures like he once did, and joined them on many memorable trips where he always had a long list of cool dive bars. , local restaurants and historic sites to explore together. Having nurtured a love of cigars and scotch, he leaves them all with a good story about overindulging in milk punch at Christmas parties.
Gordon set an example of being genuine with himself and kind to others. He enjoyed bonding through books, music, and basketball. For his tireless efforts, the San Antonio Spurs can thank Gordon for enlisting the fandom of his children and all their friends. A voracious reader of all subjects, Gordon could spend hours in any bookstore and devoted himself to haunts in his favorite cities of Austin, Chicago, San Francisco, New York and New Orleans. His longtime friend, Bill, is still unsure whether to apologize to Candace for telling Gordon about the opening of Austin’s first Half Price Books. Although he offered a thoughtful selection to nearly everyone he loved, his legacy includes more than 13 bookshelves from his beloved collection.
Gordon also loved it: A perfect day meant hunting down a great signed used hardback book, scoring a smart blazer at a thrift store (he had a flair for vintage), and being in town during happy hour to hear a favorite Texas musician like Joe Ely or Terry Allen. He loved Austin’s music scene and frequented Armadillo World Headquarters, Soap Creek Saloon, One Knite and many other venues for 40 years.
Gordon is survived by his wife, Candace, sons, Will and Ryan, daughter, Molly, sister, Tara, and brother-in-law, Richard Longhini of Silver Springs, NY; and his brothers, Scott Blake of Wyoming County, NY, Dan and Marsha Blake of Glenwood Springs, Colo.; and his brother-in-law, Michael Carothers of Tallahassee, Florida. The family is grateful for the efforts and care of Buda paramedics and firefighters, as well as various Austin doctors, for granting us more time and memories with him.
Gordon would like those who wish to honor his memory to go out and listen to live music and generously tip the musicians and bartenders. The family will be hosting a celebration of his life well lived on the afternoon of March 26, 2022. For more information on attendance or to share a memory, please contact [email protected]