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(courtesy of Keith Mullins)

Grave marker for Hugh B. Drake at Section SS, Site 798 in the  Mountain Home National Cemetery, Johnson City (Washington County), Tennessee

Hugh Drake, 84 years old, of Jonesville, VA, passed away on Saturday, 27 March 2010. He was preceded in death by his wife, Loretta Dane Hash Drake, his parents, Durell Drake and Mabel Lee Robinson, two brothers, Ray Vincent “Tobe” Drake and Larry Drake, and one sister, Jo Anne Beducian. Hugh was survived by three children, Don Drake and wife, Jovita of Moyock, NC, Valerie Stapleton of Jonesville, VA, and Robin Thompson and husband Jack of Mt. Carmel, TN; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren; two brothers, Ronnie Drake of SC, Sherill Drake of MD; two sisters, Wanda Rhymer of SC and Nancy Kennedy of GA.

Hugh was known by his children as Dad or Daddy, by his grandchildren as PaPaw, by his siblings as Hughbee and by his loving wife, Rett, as Drake. Drake was a member of Jonesville, First United Methodist Church, where he enjoyed the love and fellowship of the many friends he and Rett made there over the years. He also served as treasurer of the Jonesville Lions Club and was a member of the 82nd Airborne Association.

Drake was born on 30 Sep 1925 in Kenver, KY, and grew up in Tazewell, VA, where he graduated from Tazewell County High School. He was inducted
into the Army on 08 December 1943 and joined the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, attached to the 82nd Airborne Division. Drake made a combat jump into Holland at Nijmegen Bridge on 17 Sep 1944. Afterwards, he saw heavy action during the Battle of the Bulge and through the end of World War II. His unit was given the honor to serve as General Eisenhower’s guard at war’s end.

After returning to the United States on 03 Jan 1946, Drake attended Emory & Henry University and the National Business College in Roanoke, VA. He held various jobs in management and accounting, most notably as the Administrator of Lee General Hospital for many years.

Hugh and Loretta were married on 01 May 1952 in Pineville, WV. They moved to Kingsport, TN, then to Marion, VA, to Abingdon, VA, back to Kingsport, then to Jonesville, VA, where they spent most of their lives together.

Drake loved genealogy work and made trips to Gadsden, AL, and Pikeville, KY, to learn more about his parentsâ families. He was amazed to find that his fourth great grandfather, Benjamin Drake, lived in Elizabethton, TN. This love led him to serve as Treasurer of the Lee County Historical Society for several years. One of his proudest achievements was the work he performed as historian for the Lee County, Virginia Veterans Memorial Wall.

His greatest achievement was the unconditional love he showed for his family. He coached little league baseball, attended concerts, plays, sporting events, graduations and weddings to support his children and grandchildren. As his children grew older and his family grew, he accepted everyone unconditionally. In the winter of life, he cared for his wife tirelessly and was at her side as often as his own waning health would permit. Now, as he joins Rett and his family on the other side, he leaves us with a legacy of love etched on the hearts of all whose lives he touched.

Funeral Service at 7:00pm Thursday, 01 April. Burial Service with military honors at 10:00am 02 April..

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