Cover photo for William Blakeley "Blake" English, Jr.'s Obituary
William Blakeley "Blake" English, Jr. Profile Photo
1947 William Blakeley "Blake" English, Jr. 2023

William Blakeley "Blake" English, Jr.

June 1, 1947 — November 25, 2023

Fargo, ND

English, William Blakeley, Jr. “Blake,” 76, of Fargo, died unexpectedly on November 25, 2023, at AltruHealth in Grand Forks, ND. Blake was born June 1st, 1947 in Minneapolis, MN to William Blakeley “Blake” English, Sr. and Kathryn (Dahl) English. He attended Concordia College in Moorhead and met his future wife, Cheryl (Olson) English in Fargo during college. They were married in Fargo on December 5th, 1970 at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. After making their home in South Fargo, Blake worked in various welding and industrial gas industry roles prior to forming, owning, and operating Valley Welders Supply, Inc. in the early 1980s. In 1996, he sold his business to Praxair, and continued there until retirement. However, full retirement was not in his nature, and he went to work part-time with his son Corey in the security industry. He was most recently employed with Central McGowan, finding purpose in the field that he loved, working with many of the same customer-friends that he came to know over the preceding 50 years. He loved being part of the Fargo-Moorhead business community, always networking and meeting new people, many of whom would become life-long friends.

Blake’s other love was music. In 1965, he, along with 3 college friends, founded the popular regional rock group “The Pawnbrokers,” delighting fans with their original music and covers, landing frequent play on the radio stations of the time. In 2005, Blake and son Corey—founded “Blues Tonic” and toured regionally for 10 years. He later played with “The Misadventures” and most recently, reformed “The Pawnbrokers” with his former bandmates, playing and singing to many happy fans in attendance.

Blake loved the yearly winter trips with Cheryl, and their tiny toy poodles to see family and relax in Arizona. And back in North Dakota, you could regularly see him attending UND hockey games at The Ralph with friends and family. Summers were filled with days spent on Lake Eunice with family and friends, golfing, being outdoors, playing street dances, and other gigs. You might even find him relaxed on a pontoon enjoying the evening with the music playing! He also enjoyed the many summer road trips with the family, traveling all over the country.

Blake’s greatest accomplishment was his commitment to family; to his wife, Cheryl, as a father to Kiley and Corey, along with his absolute adoration of his grandchildren—never missing an opportunity to attend their karate practices, recitals, sporting events, or anything else they were involved with. 

Blake is preceded in death by parents, W. Blake English, Sr. and Kathryn “Kay” (Dahl) English; sister, Dr. Nancy I. English; and granddaughter Kaylee.  Blake is survived by his wife of 53 wonderful years, Cheryl; children Corey (Charmaine) English, Fargo, ND, Kiley English, Fargo, ND, and Robyn English, Bremerton, WA; grandchildren Justine Schmidt, Jackson and JoHanna English, Boden and Oliver Cossette, Haiden English and Rosa Carlson; and many brothers- and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, and countless other relatives and friends. 

VISITATION: Wright Funeral Home, Moorhead, MN, December 3rd, 3:00 to 5:00 P.M., and will continue from 1:00 P.M. to 2:00 P.M. on December 4th followed by the funeral service at 2:00 P.M. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Fargo, ND. Interment will be a private family service at the family plot, rural Christine, ND. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Blake’s name may be sent to Prairie Public Radio, Bethlehem Lutheran Church, or any charitable organization of your choosing.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William Blakeley "Blake" English, Jr., please visit our flower store.
Blake English Folder.pdf

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, December 3, 2023

3:00 - 5:00 pm (Central time)

Wright Funeral Home and Cremation Service-Moorhead

605 2nd Ave S, Moorhead, MN 56560

Prayer service beginning at 5:00 P.M.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Monday, December 4, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Fargo, ND

613 16th St S, Fargo, ND 58103

Visitation beginning one hour prior

A livestream of the service will be available here on Blake's webpage.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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