Blake once said that when we pass on, we are still here in the wind whistling through the trees, the butterflies that hover around our heads and in the howls of coyotes and wolves in the night. He said we also remain present in the souls of animals we love and he was proud of his work at the Henderson County Humane Society as an official “pet matchmaker” to assist with adoptions. Blake worked at an early age as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Muscular Dystrophy Association to promote awareness of Freidreichs ataxia and to help raise funds for summer camp and research for MDA. Blake was a Pokémon expert and an accomplished Zelda gamer.
He considered himself a descendant of wolves and he loved the strength and unity of the wolf pack. Blake studied wolves and he knew that the Greek God Apollo is sometimes called Apollo Lykios, the wolf-Apollo and was associated with the wind and sun. Unlike other animals, wolves have a variety of distinctive facial expressions they use to communicate and maintain pack unity. If you knew Blake, his universal facial expression was a smile for everyone he met but he did share some special expressions with the inner circle of his pack. The Vikings wore wolf skins to take on their spirit in battle and viewed a real wolf as a companion in battle. Blake’s spirit of a warrior as he fought his disease is definitely that of a wolf. A wolf pack can consist of two or three wolves or it may be 10 times as large. Blake’s wolf pack was large indeed.
His wolf pack included his teachers, caretakers and nurses at school and home for many years. The staff of Athens ISD has been a tremendous support and helped him accomplish his goal to graduate this past year. Among his many teachers and service providers, Susie Runte and Ashley Coker were his special OT and PT angels from the time he was in kindergarten until he graduated from high school. He has had so many doctors and nurses over the years that treated him with respect and kindness, joked with him and enjoyed his sense of humor. The Athens Fire Department has been a large part of Blake’s pack. They have helped him with fundraising for MDA, responded to his medical needs at home on many occasions and loved him as one of their own. More recently, his special caretakers at home were Donna Pierce, Ricky Gillespie, Donna White, DCarlton Grant and Scottye Storey. His alpha wolf, Debra Davis Andrews, A.K.A “Sweet Cakes”, was his tireless companion, friend and bonus mamma. Wolf pack member Mitchell Musso and Blake had a mutual fan in each other from the moment they met and his friendship over the years was very special to Blake. Another important great love and part of Blake’s pack is Cearstyn McGhee. Her devotion and dedication to their relationship was one of the great joys of Blake’s life. The numerous friends and family from his Sundown Ranch family have joined in to lift him up and celebrate many holidays and milestones with Blake. During his short life, too many people to name have befriended Blake and joined his pack. His family is so appreciative for everyone who continued to support Blake and encourage him on his journey. So when the moon is high and you hear the coyotes and wolves howl, know that Blake is running with his pack.
Blake had a unique ability to touch and connect with the people he met, whether in the grocery store, through his fundraising efforts, the people who worked with him and cared for him or just a stranger at a restaurant. People seemed to gravitate towards him and felt blessed to be in his presence. He has joined his two grandfathers, Robert H. Power and Cliff Bowden, great aunt/uncles Linda and Tom Uselton, Pete King, William King and we know they rejoiced to welcome him by their side, free of pain. Blake has also been reunited and no doubt talking Pokémon and climbing trees with his dear friend, Tyland Ray Wolfe, his best friend and the original wolf pack member.
Blake is survived by his mother and father, Robin Power and Cliff Bowden, Jr, sister Bobbie Power and brother Brice Bowden, niece, Isabelle Wilson Grandmothers: Rebecca Power and Virginia Bowden. Aunts: Melissa Pardue, Brigitte Hudson, Leslie Power Uncles: Brian Bowden, Robert J. Power, Jeffrey Power Cousins: Ross Pardue, Beau Power, Hayden Hudson, Pierce Hudson, Austin Power, Marissa Power, Jacquelyn Power Bowen, Errin Brow Pfautz, Fiona Pfautz and Sloane Herndon, 2nd Cousins Chris Uselton, Angie Lovett, Amy Nickerson, James King, John King, Peter King, Tim King, Ken King, Will King, Sherrye Macha, Bill Threadgill, 3rd Cousins Linlee Klein, Gibson Lovett, Kalee Nickerson, Keaton Nickerson, Kross Nickerson, Christen Manning, Thomas Uselton, Ashton King, Dillion King, Caden King, Madison King and Brooklyn King, and brother in law, Mario Ramirez Jr.
Services for Blake will be held at The East Texas Arboretum and Botanical Society 1601 Patterson Road, Athens, Texas 75751 on Sunday, November 26th, 2017. Viewing and visitation will begin at 1:00 pm with the service following immediately after at 2:00 pm. We ask everyone to wear blue in honor of Blake’s favorite color and to bring awareness to the official color for Friedreich’s ataxia.