American Veteran 04

Richard Drake


On Sunday April 5th, 2020, Richard Ernest "Dick" Drake,  succumbed to his battle with cancer at Kent Memorial Hospital in Warwick Rhode Island. He was 79 years old.

A Rhode Island native, Richard spent his childhood in Cranston. After high school, he enlisted in the US Army in 1959, during the Cold War, where he was a member of the 82nd US Army Missile Detachment, stationed at Lechfeld Air Base in West Germany.

Richard graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University in New Jersey, and spent his career as an engineer for several civilian firms, often producing electronic instruments with military application. During this time, he raised four sons, and resided in Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York, and Minnesota.

One of Richard’s lifelong pastimes was the sport of ice hockey. He spent many years volunteering his spare time as coach for several recreational leagues, and for Sparta High School in New Jersey.

After retiring, Richard rekindled his relationship with his high school sweetheart, Roberta Pannone, after more than a half century apart. The two of them moved back to their hometown of Cranston, Rhode Island, where they were engaged to be married. Richard and Roberta became active, passionate members of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, where they participated in church committees, until Roberta’s passing in October 2019.

Richard was preceded in death by his fiancé Roberta Pannone, father Ernest Drake, mother Dorothy Drake (nee Sprague), and his brothers David Drake and Donald Drake. He was survived by his sister Darlene Drake, his sons Michael (Lorraine) Drake, David (Michelle) Drake, Jason Drake, and Alex Drake; his grandchildren Anthony Drake and Jenna Drake; and several nieces and nephews.

Richard will be laid to rest beside his beloved fiancé Roberta, at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery in Warwick, Rhode Island. There will be no public ceremony at this time. A memorial service is being planned, and will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, Richard’s family asks that you send contributions to St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Warwick, RI.

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