November 7, 1926 - February 23, 2016
Gloria Blake passed away on February 23,2016 at Parker House Monroe Township. Born in New York City in 1926 she lived in Greenwich Village and then moved to Astoria Queens. In 1958 she moved to Old Bridge where she lived until relocating to Rossmoor Village in Monroe Township in 1995. Gloria was active in St. Thomas the Apostle Church where she was a parishioner until moving to Monroe Township. She worked for Coca-Cola Export in New York and also owned and operated Keyhole Luncheonette in East Brunswick for many years. She is pre deceased by her late husband Patrick, who died in 1975. She is survived by her 3 children, Patricia Mayer and her husband William, Keith Blake and his wife Angela and James Blake and his wife Patricia. Gloria also leaves behind her 5 grandchildren, and her long time partner in life Jack McCarthey. Visiting hours will be on Friday from 2:00PM - 4:00PM and 7:00PM - 9:00PM at the MICHAEL HEGARTY & JOHN VINCENT SCALIA HOME FOR FUNERALS AND CREMATION SERVICE - 3377 US Highway 9, Old Bridge A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Saturday 9:00AM at St Thomas the Apostle Church. Burial will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery. Contributions in Gloria's memory may be made to the Friends of Senior Center 112 Halsey Reed Road, Monroe Township, New Jersey 08831. To the Food Pantry/Gloria Blake. Attn: Bonnie Leibowitz On behalf of my sister Patty, my brother Keith and our families I would like to say thank you to all of you for coming and for your kind words, great stories and support. We would especially like to thank the staff at the Parker in Monroe. All of you made my mother’s final months, days and hours special and we have never seen a place or people with such dedication, passion and heart. Years back my mom would come home from funerals and talk about how good the eulogy was and what to consider for hers, “true story”. I hope when she hears this one she is not disappointed. Her parents came through Ellis Island. My mom was born in 1926, in NYC and lived for most of her early life on 11th street in Greenwich Village. She then moved to Astoria Queens. In 1958, she along with my father and sister moved to Old Bridge NJ. Mom made many friends as a parishioner in St Thomas church for over 40 years and in the Southwood development. In 1995, she moved into the Rossmoor community in Monroe, with Jack McCarthy, who would become her partner in life. She loved the community, the people and really began to enjoy her later more relaxing years in life with Jack. My mom was very out- going. Fun to be around and would always start off when first seeing you with a “Hey You, What’s doing”. She would always tell you what she was thinking and being politically correct or diplomatic was not high on her list. If she did not like a restaurant or movie or many other things she would put it on her “Never Again List” or say “I don’t know what I was thinking”. While on a Jersey shore vacation a few years ago, I attended a Sunday mass in LBI. The priest started his homily by saying “How is your Dash?” My mom never thought of the DASH she just lived it. She came from a generation that lived differently than we do today and the people of that era may never be matched. My mom was a special person. She was great mother, grandmother, aunt, sister-in-law, neighbor and friend. My mom had nothing more than a high school education. However, we all learned more from my mom’s teaching moments and from just watching the way she lived her DASH than from anyone else. I had several teaching moments keeping her company in the car on a “dry run” to a catering job location the day or week prior as there was no GPS or map quest. Looking back on some of those rides, I think they perhaps were planned for the one on one time together rather than getting the directions right. My father died in 1975. It was not a good year for my mom. She lost her husband, brother and brother in law, all in less than a year. So from that point forward there was no option but to work on the DASH. Having to raise a family and pay a mortgage would be a challenge, but she was up for it. My mom was a child of the depression years and would always remind us of her experiences and the importance of not forgetting where you came from. No one should take anything for granted. A compelling work ethic, the importance of saving and helping others were lessons she would instill in us for our DASH, as well as making sure to tell us when there was something good on sale at Shop-rite or Macy’s. There were a few things that my mom enjoyed most, that was cooking (and making sure everyone ate enough), a good meal at a nice restaurant, family, helping others and her faith. She also enjoyed traveling, playing cards and being active. As a child of the depression era, the card games were usually for pennies. If someone wanted to raise the stakes to nickels or dimes there was going to be a lot of controversy. You would often get a call, “Hey you, you would not believe it, I played cards today for three hours and I won 18 cents”! That was a great day for her, being with friends and telling stories. She was a terrific cook. She once owned a luncheonette and then a catering business. That tireless work ethic she taught us paid off for her because at some point all of us were working in the kitchen helping with her catering business. She cared so much about family. Going back years we had some great family vacations. The times spent in Lavallette or the Poconos would be ones she would reflect on often and we will remember for years. Getting together for holidays, birthdays and other family events really made her so happy. She would love to plan out the menu or make food (even if she was not the host) for the holidays or events weeks in advance and if she didn’t arrive 20 minutes early you were wondering why she was late. No one could make homemade pigs in the blanket like her. Not to mention pasta’s, soups, sauces, pierogi’s and many other items that she would make and freeze for all of us to enjoy. Mom would stress to make sure you focus on your family and be there for one another, there is nothing more important than family and your friends in your DASH. Mom would recognize when we would need to slow down and be aware of our Presence. Often today we are all running around doing our own things, concerned about getting through each of our busy days or dealing with our own troubles, but we all need more time to be Present with our family and friends. To mom there was nothing better than being in the Presence of family and friends. You can never rewind to recreate these moments in the DASH. While she was present she would always be watching and taking it all in. Volunteering and helping others came natural to her. She spent years giving back to others in need though the church and the community. For many years she and Jack were very active in the local Monroe food bank. She knew life was more fulfilling making others happy in the DASH than worrying about improving your own life or situation. It’s not about receiving the glory but the good of the whole. Then there was her faith. She was a devoted Catholic and would attend mass at least every Sunday, until recent years when she could not drive or walk on her own. She would be in the parking lot at 3:30 PM for 5PM Saturday evening mass to make sure she got a good handicap spot. Staying true to her faith was an important part of her DASH. She lived her life as a good Catholic and expected that of her family. She knew the lord provided her all these gifts and she needed to use them, but just as important, she tried to show us all the valuable gifts each of us possess and to make sure we would not waste them but share them with others. She lived her DASH through caring, giving back and instilling core values of honesty, respect, forgiveness and love, which all came naturally to her. She knew life, filled with meaning was far more fulfilling than one with typical societal measures of success. So later after this mass we will make our way to the cemetery. As we gather around the grave site we can look at the tomb stone that will eventually read: Gloria Blake November 7, 1926 DASH February 23, 2016. Those of us that knew her will recognize that her DASH was one of which she could feel proud and have no regrets; one lived with such grace, purpose and dignity right to the end. That tiny DASH on the headstone will be packed and bursting at the seams and is one that impacted the lives of many, leaving us with great memories and her legacy. She was unique with many special gifts and never lost sight of who she was and her need to lead by example. She will now look down on us and we may hear from time to time when we stray off life’s course, “Hey You How’s Your DASH”! We Love You MOM.
Gloria Blake passed away on February 23,2016 at Parker House Monroe Township. Born in New York City in 1926 she lived in Greenwich Village and then moved to Astoria Queens. In 1958 she moved to Old Bridge where she lived until relocating to... View Obituary & Service Information
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