CW4 Donald Lee Drake, USA, Ret.

November 24, 1933 ~ December 29, 2021 (age 88)


Donald Lee Drake, a proud veteran of the United States Army, passed away at home on 29 December 2021. He was born on 24 November 1933 in Camden, NJ and attended Saint Joseph’s Polish High School.

At the age of 18, Donald enlisted. He valued his service and attained the rank of Chief Warrant Officer Four (CW4). During his 30 years of honorable service, he deployed twice to Germany, twice to Vietnam and twice to Korea. His career took him and his family all over the world. He received many accolades to include the Bronze Star Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm, 22 Air Medals with one valor device, Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Army Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal one oak leaf cluster, four Good Conduct Medals, Army of Occupation Medal, Senior Army Aviator Badge, four Overseas Service Bars, Valorous Unit Award, and two Army Service Ribbons.

Following his military service, he served in the Peninsula Mounted Search and Rescue and worked at Tank Automotive Command (TACOM) for many years.

Donald married the love of his life, Frances, on 24 November 1956 and they were married for 65 years. Together they had three children, 10 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. His family fondly remembers how he consistently encouraged them in pursuits like mechanics and survival skills. His legacy of military service inspired three grandchildren and their spouses to serve in the Army, Air Force and Space Force.

Donald Drake is survived by his loving wife Frances (Bello) Drake, his son Donald Lee Drake, his daughter Denise Drake Brooks and son-in-law James Milton Brooks, daughter Diane Louise Drake and son-in-law Pablo Das.

He is also survived by his grandchildren, Maria Elizabeth Brooks Quinn and her husband John Patrick Quinn, Jamie Brooks Johnson and her husband Matthew Brian Johnson, Christopher James Brooks, and Lauren Brooks Kuennen and her husband, Christopher Steven Kuennen, Daniel Lee Drake, David Matthew Drake and Shawna Elizabeth Drake.

Additionally, he is survived by his great grandchildren Dylan Evelyn Johnson, Carson Matthew Johnson,  John Patrick Quinn Jr., William Bradford Quinn, James Alexander Quinn, Thomas Joseph Quinn, Henry Brooks Quinn, Thomas Christopher Kuennen, and Baby Kuennen.

He was preceded in death by Baby Donald Drake.

Please join us for the Rosary at 1030 and the Holy Mass at 1100 on Thursday, 20 January 2022 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 757 138th St S, Tacoma, WA 98444. You are also invited to attend his Military Interment on Friday, 21 January 2022 at 0930 at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA .

In lieu of flowers, please honor Donald by donating to your family’s favorite charity.  

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