MONROE - Blake McLain Hendon, 76, died Saturday, February 1, 2014.
Blake was born at home in East Tallassee, Ala., at McLain Crossroads and came to the Atlanta area “as soon as he could.” He grew up with the “fine people of Buckhead” and went to R.L. Hope Elementary School, North Fulton High School, and attended Georgia Tech, where the only “A” he made was in English. His first Atlanta home was a three-room log cabin a mile down Peachtree-Dunwoody Road, and the only thing handy was a well on the back porch.
Blake was known for his good campfires and enjoyed hiking and camping. Though not much of a fisherman or hunter, he floated the flat waters of Georgia lakes, rivers and the Okefenokee Swamp in the South, and the white water in the mountains of Georgia and North Carolina. A later trip down a cold, wild, Alaska river, pretty much satisfied his need for this kind of adventure.
Love of family and friends and the outdoors is reflected in two novels that Blake wrote as a hobby. Reading was also a passion of his in his retirement and his favorite author was Ken Follett.
Hendon’s only shortcoming as a Southerner was that he put sugar on his grits, but he drank sweet tea with the best of them. Through the years, he took ballroom, square dancing, and clogging lessons and had some pretty good moves in this time. Some of his nicknames were “Hindu”, “Hondo”, “Snake”, “Goober” and “Long Taw”, all reflective of his 6’4” statue. He collected pins, patches, key chains, “Hess” trucks and cars, bandanas and polo shirts.
Blake had a mission heart and was able to help build simple plywood churches in small Mexican villages and to work on disaster relief projects in Georgia and Florida.
His favorite quote is from the 1997 movie, “Titanic” when Jack said “just the other night I was sleeping under a bridge and now here I am, on the grandest ship in the world, having champagne with you fine people.”
A familiar day’s end saying of his was “Get up the cords, boys, and let’s go home”.
Survivors include his wife of 49 years, Barbara Jones Hendon; a son, Blake Jr.; a daughter, Karen Hendon Hardegree; and son-in-law, Steven Hardegree; granddaughter, Brittany Doan Savoy; great-granddaughter, Payton; great-grandson, James; brother, John Hendon; and sisters, Carol Felando and Jackie Beck.
A private memorial service for his final home going will be announced later by his family.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to Faith Baptist Church, Youth Department, 1789 Hwy. 11 NW, Monroe, GA. 30656.
Lord & Stephens Funeral Home, West, Bogart, is in charge of arrangements.