Walter Franklin Drake, Sr.

Published 3:11 pm Monday, March 14, 2011

Franklin – Walter Franklin Drake, Sr., 84 went to be with the Lord on Sunday, March 13, 2011. He was born June 9, 1926 in Sunbeam, VA to the late Lynwood Crumpler Drake and Lila Neblett Drake, and was preceded in death by his devoted wife of fifty-four years, Clarine Nixon Drake, his brother, Lynwood Crumpler Drake, Jr. and his son-in-law, Mitcheal Keith Barnes.

A 1943 graduate of Newsoms High School, he enrolled in North Carolina State College in Raleigh, NC. He joined PI Kappa Alpha Fraternity and enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps Reserves. He completed basic training at Keesler Field in Biloxi, MS and was transferred to Greenville Army Airfield in Greenville, MS. He completed a Physical Training Instructors Course and taught physical fitness at Tyndall Field in Panama City, FL, until his discharge in November 1945.

Following his discharge, he returned to Sunbeam to farm with his father, Lynwood C. Drake and grandfather, Emmett F. Drake. He was a lifetime, active member of Sunbeam Baptist Church serving as Trustee, Sunday School Superintendent, and Deacon.

He is survived by three children: Debra Drake Mullican and her husband, Jack, of Savannah, GA, Sandra Drake Barnes of Sunbeam, VA, Walter Franklin Drake, Jr. and his wife, Beth, of Sunbeam, VA; six grandchildren: Elizabeth Mullican Duncan and her husband Corey, Justin Keith Barnes, Jessica Sabra Barnes, Matthew Linwood Drake, Jason Wayne Drake, and Crystal Leigh Drake; one step-grandson, Travis Poole Holland and his wife, Erin; one step-great grandson, Kylar Nicholas Holland, and a devoted friend, Peggy Vann, of Capron, VA.

The family will receive friends from 7:00 pm until 8:30 pm Wednesday, March 16th at Wright Funeral Home, 206 West Fourth Avenue, Franklin, VA. The funeral service will be held at 2:00 pm Thursday, March 17, at Wright Funeral Home with the Rev. Hoyle Green, the Rev. Kenneth Williams, and the Rev. Willis Switzer officiating. Interment will follow in Poplar Spring Cemetery, High Street, Franklin, VA.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Sunbeam Baptist Church, 31226 Sunbeam Road, Franklin, VA, or Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance, c/o Beth Drake, 31395 Sunbeam Road, Franklin, VA.