William H. “Bill” Blake, 98, died surrounded by his loving family Feb. 7, 2010, at his home in Union.

Bill was born July 4, 1911, at Eastern Maine General Hospital in Lewiston, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur W. Blake.

Most of his younger years were spent in New Gloucester and he graduated from the local high school there in the Class of 1929.

His first work was in the dining rooms at the Forest Hill Ricker Hotel in Augusta, Ga., and then at the Ricker Poland Spring Hotel in Poland Springs. At that time the Great Depression was beginning to be felt over the entire nation and both hotels were closed.

Bill moved to Portland and was fortunate to secure work as a student salesman with the National Biscuit Company. His employment took him over much of the state filling in on vacations and during illnesses. A vacancy occurred in the Rockland district and he remained here for nearly 30 years, calling on the various stores in Knox County and the islands of North Haven, Vinalhaven, Matinicus and Monhegan.

During World War II he spent nearly three years in the U.S. Air Force, serving overseas in the China-Burma-India theatre.

After the war he returned to Rockland and continued his duties with the National Biscuit Company, later known as Nabisco.

He was privileged to join all the Masonic branches and was exalted ruler of Rockland Lodge of Elks in 1939.

In 1961, Bill married Aritta Knowlton Starr in Milo. Mrs. Blake passed away in 1975.

Bill is survived by one son and his wife, David and Deborah Blake of Warren; one stepdaughter and her husband, Diane and Michael Brooks of Warren; four grandchildren, Beth Anthony of Thomaston, Deanna Kenney of Rockland, William Brooks of Poway, Calif., and Glenn Brooks of South Thomaston; and 10 great-grandchildren.

At his request there will be no funeral. His ashes will be scattered over the territory of the West Branch of the Penobscot, “The Land of Milk and Honey.”

Arrangements are with the Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home in Rockland.