Sept. 20, 1929 - March 26, 2016
McCOOK, Neb. -- Richard Darnell Drake was born on Sept. 20, 1929, in McCook, the son of Harry Newton Drake and Erciel A. (Ewing) Drake. He passed away at his home on March 26, 2016.
Richard was very athletic and was a member of the 1946 and 1947 McCook High School state championship track team. "Diesel Engine" Drake was a fullback on the 1946 McCook High School Class A championship football team, and his team was inducted into the Nebraska High School Sports Hall of Fame. In 1951, he enlisted in the United States Air Force and served until 1955 as an electronics and advanced radar instructor during the Korean Conflict.
He married Mary Lou Hubert Dec. 31, 1950, and together they raised seven children. Richard and Mary Lou spent many hours with their children, helping them train horses for 4-H competition and high school rodeo, taking them to swim meets, cheering them on at basketball games and cross country meets and encouraging high academic scores. In later years, they spent a lot of time traveling with their children.
Richard was an avid outdoorsman. He loved to hunt and fish and engaged in all types of water sports. He was a member of the gun club and spent time participating in competitive shooting.
Richard believed in civic responsibility and was a member of the McCook City Council from 1967 to 1971. He performed the duties of acting mayor from 1968 to 1971. He served on the vestry of St. Episcopal Church.
Richard was manager of the family business, Drake Oil Company, for many years. He became the first manager of Electric Hose and Rubber Company in McCook and oversaw the building of the plant. Later, he worked as a brakeman and conductor for Burlington Northern Railroad. He also farmed land in Hayes and Red Willow Counties. He was a true Renaissance man, excelling in mechanics and engines, and reciting classical poetry. He was a man for all seasons. He was greatly loved by his family and will be missed very much.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Erciel Drake; and his sister, Jane Reid Unger.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Mary Lou, and his seven children, Dr. Cathy Drake and son-in-law, Judge Gerard Lavelle of Albuquerque; Dr. Carol Drake and son-in-law, Dr. Robert Troia of Omaha; Dr. Cindy Drake of Omaha; Christy Drake, Esq., and son-in-law, J.P. Davis of Amarillo; James Drake and daughter-in-law, Gretchen Drake of Lincoln; Dr. Casey Drake and son-in-law, George Majdalani of Dallas; and Dr. Mary Kay Drake and son-in-law, Mark Hoffman of Omaha. He is also survived by his sister, Sandra Bell; 21 grandchildren, Maeve, Conor, Shana, Kelan, Andrew, Natalie, Wyatt, Claire, Katie, David, Richard, Mary, Ryan, Spencer, Lexi, Madison, Harrison, Sidney, Hazel, Arrow, Vivian; and one great-granddaughter, Violet.
Memorial services are Tuesday, March 29, 2016, at 10:30 a.m. at Herrmann-Jones Funeral Chapel in McCook with Rev. Ryan Hodges. Inurnment will be in the Memorial Park Cemetery with Military Honors by the Offutt Air Base Honor Guard.
In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that memorials be made to the Wounded Warriors Project.
Herrmann-Jones Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.