Memorial Service for William C. Blake Set for May 30

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Bill Blake

Bill Blake

A memorial service for William C. Blake will be held on May 30, 2015, at 11:00 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 645 Main St. in Melrose, Massachusetts.

Mr. Blake passed away on March 31 after suffering from a heart attack. While many of you will remember Bill from his work as CTO of Cray, Mr. Blake was most recently Executive Vice President of R&D at D-Wave Systems.

As a consummate engineer, Bill’s ambition was to create computing tools that would make life on this planet better. His career spanned the technologies of high-performance computing, parallel systems, data analytics, compiler development and software, semiconductor technologies, and artificial intelligence. In addition to his recent position at D-Wave Systems, Bill’s roles throughout his career included Chief Technology Officer & Senior VP at Cray Inc.; General Manager, Parallel Computing Platforms, Microsoft Corporation; President & CEO Interactive Supercomputing, Inc.; Senior VP Product Development, Netezza Corporation; and Vice President, High-Performance Technical Computing, Compaq Computer Corporation. Bill also held several leadership positions at Digital Equipment Corporation, including Alpha Systems product development and significant successes with smaller teams and customer collaborations early in his career.
In emails, blogs, and cards of condolence, friends and colleagues characterized Bill as “one of the very best human beings it has been my joy and pleasure to know,” “a friend and mentor, a noble man with a great heart,” as someone who possessed a “wicked sense of humor,” as both “kind” and “brilliant” and as a “rare combination of humility and brilliance.” Bill had an inquiring mind and was an avid reader who found joy in sharing gained knowledge and experience with others. He highly valued people and personal relationships.

Bill tenderly loved and was loved by his wife, Jane Chapman Blake. Jane, close friends and Jane’s brother were with him when he passed away. He and Jane shared a full life that included wonderful friendships and good conversation always. Bill had traveled around the world on business. But wherever he and Jane traveled together, they found an art museum to visit or sought out a classical music event, and discovered an intriguing restaurant; loved skiing with friends at The Balsams and in Switzerland; and spent quiet time at their family cottage on Prince Edward Island. Bill also golfed, as he said, “whenever in need of additional frustration.” Bill’s joy was sailing his 40′ boat, The Godwit, from Boston to Cape Cod. And, of course, both Bill and Jane adored their cats.

Should you wish to convey any condolences or memories of Bill to his family you can send them to In lieu of flowers, donations in Bill’s memory may be made to The Humane Society of the United States, 2100 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037.