Virginia Blake celebrates 95 years

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Mayor David Smith (left) presents Virginia Blake a certificate of appreciation in honor of her birthday.

Former Ronceverte Mayor Virginia Blake was celebrated at a party given in honor of her 95th birthday on Thursday, Dec. 15, at Rudy’s Corner Grill in Ronceverte.

The event was well attended with friends and family, and Mayor David Smith presented Blake with a certificate of congratulations on behalf of himself and the Ronceverte City Council.

Declared Smith, “In honor of 95 years as a citizen of Ronceverte, as a devoted public servant, and an honored community volunteer, we hereby recognize her outstanding service and her longevity.”

Blake was born Dec. 15, 1921, the daughter of Charles and Lola Butler. She was married to the late Norman Blake, owner and editor of the West Virginia News whose family started the paper in April 1901. The family also started and ran The Valley Messenger and News prior to this date when it was absorbed into the West Virginia News.

Blake was mayor for two terms in Ronceverte, the first term from 1973-1979 and a second term from 1991-1993.

Always involved in city activities, she could be seen riding on the back of the trash truck gathering garbage or riding on her bicycle through town reviewing streets. She has been a member of the Ronceverte Womens Club for almost 70 years and a member of The Church of the Incarnation Episcopal Church in Ronceverte.

“Virginia is an institution here in Ronceverte,” commented Smith. “Her love of her hometown and the remarkable service to our community epitomizes good citizenship. We are proud to commemorate her birthday this way and hope her many more years.”