James Kenneth “Ken” Blake Sr., 91, died March 5, 2010, at Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport.

Ken was born May 16, 1918, in Union, a son of the late James and Abbie Francis Bryant Blake.

Growing up in Union he attended local schools and graduated from Union High School. He continued his education at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine before joining the U.S. Navy and the Merchant Marine for 52 years where he was a member of the first crew to set up a base in Antarctica. While on board, the USS Seaman A. Knapp crossed the Arctic Circle on June 23, 1951, as to enter the northern domain of the polar bear. He was employed several times as a captain and a chief engineer, giving him the opportunity to travel all over the world.

Ken married Athlene Upham, and they made their home in Union. When time permitted, Athlene would travel with Ken to various ports. In 1994 Athlene passed away. In 1996 he married Carolina Haverty who passed away in 2006.

After retirement he and his wife wintered in Port Richey, Fla., returning to Maine each spring. While in Florida he enjoyed attending equipment auctions with his nephew, Billy.

For two and half years his daughter-in-law Sharon looked after him so he could spend his last years in his home in Union.

He enjoyed bee keeping, fishing and hunting. He loved working in the woods cutting logs with his son by his side.

He was a lifetime member of Mt. Olivet Lodge 203 AF & AM

One of his greatest loves was to spend time with his family.

He was predeceased by his first wife, Athlene, in 1994; his second wife, Carolina, in 2006; his grandson, Daniel Blake; his brothers, Lawrence Blake and John “Buster” Blake; and his sisters, Geneva Cargill and Mary Starrett.

He is survived by his son, James K. Blake Jr. and his wife, Sharon, of Washington; his grandson, James Blake III of Warren; his great-granddaughters, Mary Ross and her husband, Montell, of Waldoboro and Brittany Blake of Warren; his sister, Marjorie Peabody and her husband, Frederick, of Union; his sisters-in-law, Christine Wellman and her husband, Estern, of Washington, Mildred Brooks and her husband, Pete, of Union, Shirley Berry and her husband, Vern, of Union, Becky Ripley and her husband, Dickie, of Rockport, Jeanette Grinnell and her husband, Gordon, of Washington, and Sally Smith and her husband, Robert, of Chelsea; his brothers-in-law, John Upham and his wife, Lottie, of Washington, Wayne Upham and his wife, Nan, of Union, and Reginald Upham and his wife, Linda, of Washington; and many nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held Thursday, April 15 at 11 a.m. at Lakeview Cemetery in Union. The Rev. Robert Dorr will officiate.