Elizabeth Blake

Elizabeth Hannah Cochran Blake, age 100, of Front Royal, Virginia, died Monday, May 1, 2017.

Born October 31, 1916, at Marlinton, she was a daughter of the late Lincoln Seward and Emma Grace McNeil Cochran.

From birth until age five, Elizabeth lived in Cass, where her father, Lincoln, served as Town Constable. The job entailed keeping order in a town regularly visited by loggers emerging from two months of isolation in remote forest camps. The family later moved to Marlinton, where Lincoln became Sheriff of Pocahontas County. At her father’s urging, Elizabeth learned typing, allowing him to dictate to her the affidavits, warrants and subpoenas his work regularly required.

After high school, Elizabeth worked for C. J. Richardson Hardware in Marlinton. Her next step took her to Washington, D.C., and life-long service as a federal employee. In her words, “Twenty two days after the beginning of World War II, I left the highlands of Pocahontas County with one suitcase and journeyed to the browned-out nation’s capital to do my bit for the war effort and the Federal Government.”

While working as a clerk/typist, Elizabeth learned that if you wanted to “go overseas,” you should seek out a certain office and person; she did exactly that. She served in the Office of Strategic Services in Kandy, Ceylon [Sri Lanka,] Calcutta, India, Shanghai, China, and Rangoon, Bruma [Myanmar.] Photos from that time depict a grinning young woman fully engaged in life, framed by Asian temples, lush scenery and attentive GIs.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Lamont V. Blake; and a son, David M. Blake.

She is survived by the children of her brother, the late John McNeil Cochran, and members of the McCoy and McNeil family lines.

Interment will be held in the Thornrose Cemetery in Staunton, Virginia.

Memorials may be made to U.S. National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue NE, Washington, D.C. 20002.

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