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1922 Agnes 2024

Agnes E. Blake

September 20, 1922 — February 22, 2024


North Canton -Agnes E. Blake, 101, a long time Poland resident, passed away on February, 22, 2024 at Windsor Medical Center in North Canton. She was born September 20, 1922, in Lonaconing, Maryland, the daughter of James and Estelle (Atkinson) Richmond.

Graduating in 1940 from Central High School in Lonaconing, Agnes was the class salutatorian and was chosen as “Miss Central” in recognition of her scholastic and other accomplishments. She attended Potomac State College and in 1943 graduated from the University of Maryland where she was selected to be a member of Mortar Board for her academic achievements

While in college, Agnes auditioned and was chosen to be the pianist for Russell Blake’s swing band. In addition, Russ won Aggie’s heart and they married on June 23,1944, while he served in the U.S. Army. During World War II, Agnes worked in California and Washington, D.C. until Russell returned from overseas. The couple’s loving and devoted relationship lasted for over 78 years until Russell’s death in January, 2023.

Agnes and Russell made Poland their home in 1950 and raised their sons there. Continuing her love of music, Agnes regularly played the piano at school and church events and was a well-respected piano teacher for more than 30 years. She also taught home economics in the Springfield and North Jackson schools for several years. Possessed of an intelligent curiosity, Agnes was always current on the latest events, whether it be politics, sports, or local happenings. 

Agnes and Russell belonged to the Poland Carnival Dance Club and had a large circle of friends with whom they traveled and played cards. As a longtime member of Poland United Methodist Church, she helped prepare dinners and participated in many Church activities. Her greatest joy, however, was spending time with family, particularly her grandchildren, nieces and nephews who often visited at her home, where she served many special seasonal cookies and her famous strawberry jam. She was the glue that held the extended family together, keeping track of everyone’s history and whereabouts.

Agnes will be deeply missed by her sons, James R. (Libby) Blake of North Canton and David L. Blake of Alpharetta, GA; her grandchildren, Dr. Brian J. (Angela) Blake of North Canton, Erin Blake (Peter) Elefante of Hingham, MA, Andrew W. (Erica) Blake of Winthrop, MA, and Alex J. Blake of Alpharetta, GA. She leaves six great-grandsons, Joshua and Johnathon Blake, William, Blake, and Christopher Elefante and Carter Blake. She is also survived by her brother, William (Judy) Richmond of Lonaconing, MD; beloved nieces and nephews, and relative. Margie Blake.

Agnes will be interred at Poland Riverside Cemetery and a Celebration of Life service will be held at a future time. There will be no calling hours. Memorial tributes may be made to the Poland United Methodist Church Foundation,1940 Boardman Poland Rd, Poland, OH 44514.

The family would like to thank the nurses and staff at Windsor Medical Center and Crossroads Hospice for their exceptional care. 

Arrangements are entrusted to Cunningham-Becker Funeral Home, Poland. 

Condolences may be sent at

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