Robert Blake

GARDINER and WEST FORKS -- "Rusty" Blake, 69, passed away peacefully Sept. 2, 2013 at his Libby Hill home in Gardiner after a courageous battle with cancer, his loving wife and family by his side.

He was born in Gardiner on Jan. 26, 1944, the son of Josephine and Richard Oregon Blake, Sr.

Rusty had a great sense of humor and took advantage of his strong Downeast accent to embellish his storytelling skills. He loved to make people laugh.

He served his country while in the Navy, enlisting at the young age of 17. He was a jack-of-all-trades and a skillful mechanic with the ability to fix anything that was brought to Blake's Garage in West Forks. Rusty had a passion for flying his gyroplane and owned three gyros. He was a member of the Popular Rotorcraft Association Chapter 39, of Laconia, N.H. He loved traveling the countryside and stopping at garage sales on his quest for antiques. His true passion was being outdoors doing anything. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, diving, lobstering and establishing great relationships throughout Maine and along the East Coast on his journey for his true passion of eeling.

He possessed an endless dream of adventure, traveling to Australia and Arizona and other parts of the world to prospect for gold, and to China and Puerto Rico in his eel trade, where he earned the name "The Eelman."

Rusty had a bountiful life and made friends around the world. He loved his family and friends dearly and will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

He is survived by his loving wife, Rebecca "Becky" Blake, of Gardiner; two sisters, Judith Rinaldi and Tim Cormier, of Sidney; and Jeanne and Roger Sheridan, of Bryan, Texas; brother Benjamin and Jill Blake, of Litchfield; daughter Richelle Abbott and Travis Corson, of Gardiner; grandson Nicholas Abbot; granddaughters Kailey Abbott, of Warren, and Samatha Briggs; and stepchildren Dennis Briggs, Fritz and William Miller and Kathy Sounier; many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

He was predeceased by his parents; a sister, Joyce Gardner; and brother Daniel Blake.

There will be a celebration of Rusty's life at noon on Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013 at the home of Rusty and Becky Blake, 156 Libby Hill Road, Gardiner. Good day, keep smiling!