George Henry Blake, Jr.


George Henry Blake Jr. graduated from Autaugaville High School and entered Alabama Polytechnic Institute in September 1940 to study agriculture.

In 1942, the university changed from a semester system to quarters to help male students graduate before going off to World War II. Blake was relocated to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where he was enrolled in Officer’s Candidate School. After a period in Oklahoma, Blake was able to return to Auburn as a Second Lieutenant.

He trained at Fort Benning as a forward artillery observer and then trained his own artillery battery. For his distinguish service in France and Germany during World War II, Blake was awarded several honors, including the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts.

Upon his return from Germany in June 1946, Blake married Bruce Davis, a fellow Auburn student he’d met before he left for Europe. He re-entered API and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in entomology. In late 1948, the couple moved to the University of Illinois where Blake received his doctorate in economic entomology before again returning to Auburn.

Blake joined the faculty as a full-time researcher with the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station research units. Later, as a full-time teaching professor, Blake enjoyed his many interactions with students. He worked for many years in beekeeping and taught a bee culture course, economic entomology and agricultural and biological sciences-related courses. Blake also worked with the State of Alabama in preparing and grading exams for all pest control operators in the state.

Blake was active in many professional and honorary societies as well as local civic groups and community activities, including Auburn Little League and Dixie Youth Baseball, Lions Club, Auburn City Council and Auburn United Methodist Church. In 1993, a scholarship was established in honor of Blake by the Auburn Lions Club and, a few years later, Blake was named a Melvin Jones Fellow by Lions Clubs International Foundation for his dedicated humanitarian service.

George H. Blake Jr. died in 1997. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Bruce Davis Blake; his four children: Sally, George, Jimmy and John; and four grandchildren.