A GIANT of education, rugby and a man of integrity and humour has passed away at the age of 81, with his family, friends and thousands of his former schoolboys and colleagues beginning to learn of and come to terms with his sad passing, writes Windsor old boy Paul Thomas.

Former Windsor Boys' School headmaster, classics master and Allen House master and president of Windsor Rugby Club, Peter Blake, died at mid-afternoon on Thursday from a brain haemorrhage after being rushed to the stroke unit at High Wycombe hospital.

Son Simon, told the Observer: "he was an amazing dad, leader and friend to the whole community in Windsor.

"He attacked life in a positive way, always with a smile on his face, but had the right balance between decisiveness and authority, and humility and empathy for people, no matter their background or prior history.

"My sisters and I were fortunate to have him as our dad and Elaine as our mum."

Peter Anthony Blake was born in Bristol on August 19, 1936.

He lived at Oakapples in Hatch Lane after living in Windsor most of his life after leaving Bristol University.

He joined the school in the early 60s and went from head of classics, to deputy head, to headmaster of Windsor Boys' School in 1977 as it changed from a grammar school to a comprehensive.

Simon added: "Sadly, my sister Nicki passed away last February within three months of being diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumour, aged 50, so it's not been a great year.

"But he was unaware since we decided it was best for him not to know due to dementia issues."

He leaves behind Simon, 54, his younger sister Julie, 49, who went to St Bernard’s in Slough and second wife Annamaria, who cared for him as he deteriorated. He also leaves behind stepsons Christian and Daniel and grand children, Billy, Charlie, Holly, Matthew, Maddie and Freddie.

First wife, Elaine, was his rock until she died tragically at the age of 47 having been struggling with MS.

Simon said: "She was the boss in the house and he relied on her."

Mr Blake had met her when she was a nurse in Bristol and he was admitted for TB.

She died in 1985.

The funeral has yet to be confirmed as the midday mass on Friday, May 4 at Windsor's St Edwards RC church and this newspaper will make sure all those who knew and loved him are aware of the service as soon as it is confirmed.

The Observer will be paying a special tribute to Peter Blake in its issue of Friday, April 20.

If you would like to pay your tribute to Mr Blake leave your comment on this obituary or on our Facebook page. Uno animo.