I am sad to report to you today the death of retiree John W. Blake of North Adams. John died Feb. 3 at Williamstown Commons at age 87.
John came to the college in 1962 and joined what was known then as the building and grounds department. He is remembered as a hard-working, dependable custodian who worked in Williams Hall. I am told that he used to clean the entire building by himself. Colleagues recalled that many students saw him as a father figure for his kind and patient ways. He retired in 1991 after 30 years of service.
Born in Williamstown in 1929, John attended local schools and was first employed at Sprague Electric Company and the Mount Hope Farm before coming to the college. He was a member of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church and an avid outdoorsman.
His sister-in-law Bruna, her husband Gillio Vivori, and their family survive John. His wife, Gisella Louise Piantoni passed away in 2014, just shy of their 60th wedding anniversary.
Services for John will be held at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church in North Adams. Burial will follow in Eastlawn Cemetery in Williamstown. Calling hours will be held from 9 to 9:45 a.m. Thursday at Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals, Central Chapels, 74 Marshall St., North Adams.
Our thoughts are with John’s family and friends.