Raleigh, N.C. — Former state Sen. Harris Blake passed away at his Moore County home Monday at the age of 84.
The Republican served five terms in the state Senate, choosing not to seek re-election in 2012. He was deputy president pro tem during his final two-year term.
Blake was born in Pinehurst and graduated from Elon University. He served in the Army as a sergeant during the Korean War, 1951-53.
Outside his legislative work, he was a commercial real estate developer in Pinehurst and served as an associate administrator for the Farmers Home Administration of the U.S. Department of Agriculture from 1985 to 1986.
Blake also served on various local boards, including the Moore County Board of Education and Sandhills Community College.
He was awarded the Order of the Longleaf Pine by Gov. Pat McCrory in 2013.
His former political colleagues remembered him as a dedicated public servant.
Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger praised Blake as "a self-made man who spent his life helping others and giving back to his community, state and country."
"He was an unfailing advocate for limited government, fiscal responsibility, and – most importantly – for his constituents," Berger said in a statement. "Sen. Blake was a dear friend, and my colleagues and I will miss him greatly.”
Gov. Pat McCrory called him a "consummate gentleman" in a statement.
“Harris Blake went the extra mile to let everyone in his district know that he worked for them, regardless of their party affiliation or who they voted for," McCrory said.
"Sen. Blake served his country and his state honorably and was a dedicated public servant locally in Moore County and during his years in the Senate," said House Speaker Thom Tillis in a statement.