Reginald Howard Blakey (Rex) was born March 19, 1929, to Millard H. and Ruth Aldridge Blakey, in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
During World War II, he served as a signalman in the U.S. Navy. He served in the China Sea, North Atlantic, Europe & Japan, and the Asiatic Pacific.
After his discharge he attended the University of Tulsa where he earned his bachelor’s and master's degrees in journalism and speech/playwriting. Several of his original theater productions were performed in Oklahoma and Colorado.
He worked for several years as a reporter and freelance photojournalist then joined the University of Tulsa as Director of University Relations. He began TU's alumni magazine, which won numerous national awards.
He became Director of Public Relations and Development for American Association of Petroleum Geologists in 1977. At AAPG he created the association’s tabloid, The Explorer. He was named a member of the Public Relations Society of America’s Counselor’s Academy and earned the prestigious Accredited Public Relations Counselor designation.
He left AAPG in 1983 to join his wife, Ellen Sue Blakey, in establishing The Blakey Group public relations firm, working with health care, education and not-for-profit groups.
In his spare time, he played stand-up bass with Stoney Creek (bluegrass band) and Dakota County (progressive country). He was best known for his humorous patter between musical numbers.
The couple moved to Thermopolis in 1994 to be near her parents, Hugh and Bea Seaver of Thermopolis. Rex worked at the Independent Record newspaper for four years as a reporter and editor. He wrote a popular weekly column, Buffalo Creek Journal. He retired for health reasons in 1999.
He was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by his wife, Ellen Sue Blakey; four children -- Patrick Howard Blakey; Brian Rourke Blakey; Darien Ruth Johnson, and Kathleen Dale Liles, all of Tulsa; as well as five grandchildren and 29 great-grandchildren.
No services are scheduled at this time. The family has requested that memorials be made to any animal rescue organization -- or better yet, as he said in one of his last conversations with his wife, "rescue a doggie."