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Gregory Bruce Blakey | PASSAGES
Gregory Bruce Blakey died in a motorcycle accident in Baja, Mexico, Dec. 16, 2013 as a result of a heart attack. He was 58.
Greg was born in the hospital in Ballard on March 17, 1955 to Birdine and Bruce Blakey.
He graduated from Bellevue High School in 1973, and started his college education at Washington State University in February where he met and began courting the love of his life, Nancy Ann Holt.
In 1976, Greg accepted a job at his father’s company, Wesmar, and they moved to Scotland where Greg and Nancy were married in a traditional Scottish ceremony. Even though Greg was told he had the man-legs for it, he declined wearing a kilt for the ceremony. Greg and Nancy were married 37 abundant years.
After their wedding, they lived in Scotland for over a year, and then after a short stint in Seattle, they moved to Adelaide, Australia, where he continued working for Wesmar.
When they returned to the Pacific Northwest in 1979 he quit his job, bought a boat to fish Puget Sound, and they started their family. Their daughter Jenna was born in 1980, followed quickly by the births of his sons Ben, Daniel and Nick. His children were his strength and pride to the very end.
Greg was raised with the strong mix of dreaming big and working hard, and whatever venture he threw himself into, he gave it everything he had.
In 1983 Greg and his father started a company, Snopac Products, to process the huge runs of sockeye salmon in Bristol Bay, Alaska.
Greg’s was a life of verbs. Lifting and carrying, holding and believing he could move the small into the large.
He bought out his father in 1989 and expanded Snopac’s operation to include crab, herring and yellow fin sole. There were profitable years, and seasons where failure felt imminent, but Greg never succumbed to defeat. Throughout his career in the seafood industry he forged ahead believing he could take Snopac into the global arena where salmon, particularly sockeye salmon, would hold its value. And he did with the incalculable support of his daughter Jenna as vice president, his sons Ben, Daniel, and Nick fishing Bristol Bay and contributing their catch, and his wife Nancy beside him.
He sold Snopac in 2012 to Icicle Seafoods and retired to his best self for nearly two years before his death.
Greg was a risk-taker, a fantastically loving, loyal husband and father, a solid friend. He was lightning fast at catching things that fell, and knew how to cook breakfast eggs to perfection. He was the calm lynchpin in an emergency, he could bench-press 250 pounds, and when he was happy he sang the lyrics to goofy songs that matched the mood. He was a regular songbird the last 18 months of his life.
Greg parlayed a developing passion in motorcycles into trips that took him riding in Africa, into the Rockies, Mexico and touring the Northwest. In the end, a motorcycle trip down the Baja Peninsula gave him the epic closure to a large life.
Greg was at the peak of happiness when surrounded by his family, and he celebrated the expansion of his family with the marriages of his children to their remarkable partners Nick Hall, Molly Killien, Casi Christensen and Bridgette Taggart. He was a devoted Papa to his three grandchildren: Finn, Poppie, and India, and was in the process of teaching them the lyrics to Ry Cooder’s “One Meatball.”
Greg is survived by his wife Nancy, his children Jenna along with her husband Nick Hall and his grandchildren Finn, Poppie and India, Ben and his wife Molly, Daniel and his wife Bridgette, Nick and his wife Casi, his father Bruce Blakey, his mother Birdine Blakey, and his sisters Glenda Blakey, Tammy Blakey and Leslie Spencer. He was preceded in death by his sister Diane.
Greg is also survived by the countless friends who contributed so richly to his life, and those whose lives he touched across the world.
A memorial service will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 19 at Kiana Lodge in Poulsbo. Everyone is encouraged to bring their Greg stories.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Fishermen’s Memorial Scholarship Fund.
Memories can also be posted at firstname.lastname@example.org.