S. Prestley Blake, Founder of Friendly's, has passed away at the age of 106

S. Prestley Blake, Founder of Friendly’s, has passed away at the age of 106

Stuart Priestley Blake was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, on November 26, 1914, to parents, Herbert Priestley Blake and Ethel (Stuart) Blake. He grew up in Springfield, where his father worked for the watch manufacturer Standard Electric Time Company; His mother was a car lover who encouraged her sons’ passion for cars. He bought Model T Ford when he was 16, using profits from newspaper road. (Another brother, Hollis, died at the age of two.)

Mr. Blake attended Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut for a year before returning to Springfield to open his ice cream shop with his brother Curtis.

The Blake Brothers closed the store during WWII to join the war effort. Mr. Blake went to work at what is now known as the Westinghouse Electric Corporation, where he tracked down elusive electronic equipment and delivered it to wartime manufacturers. (Curtis Blake served in the Army Air Force in Britain).

After selling Friendly in the 1970s, Mr. Blake traveled the world in a sailboat and Concorde plane and cultivated his classic car collection, which at its peak included about twenty Rolls-Royce cars. He wrote that someone appeared in Liza Minnelli’s movie “Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon” (1970), in which he appeared as a driver.

Mr. Blake celebrated his 100th birthday in 2014 with a modern build Exact replica of MonticelloThomas Jefferson’s Virginia farmhouse in Somers, Connecticut. At a cost of nearly $ 8 million, the mansion was sold in auction For about $ 2.1 million in 2016.

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His first two marriages to Della Deming and Setu Matsukata ended in divorce.

Mr. Blake died in a hospital in Stuart, where he was living. In addition to his son, his wife, Helen, survived Blake. Sister, Betsy Melvin; Daughter of Nancy Yannakis; Several children, 16 grandchildren and children; And 12 great-grandchildren.

At the end of his memoirs, Mr. Blake said, “I started small, worked hard, and succeeded beyond my wildest dreams.” “I got out of the ice cream business and was sitting so beautifully until I had to get off the sofa and back into the fight. That fight is over. I’m 96 and I’m officially retired. It can.”

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