Roger W. Drake Sr.

Published 7:35 am Tuesday, July 3, 2012

FRANKLIN—Roger Wilson Drake Sr., 90, passed away Sunday, July 1, 2012, at home with his family at his side.

He was born in Boykins February 20, 1922, a son of the late Herbert L. and Nonie Smith Drake and was predeceased by a grandson, Roger W. Drake III and two brothers, Hugh D. Drake (Adrian) and Roy Lee Drake (Edith).

He graduated from Boykins High School in 1939 then joined the Army after graduation and served during World War II in Europe in Company “A,” 269th Engineer Battalion in the 69th Infantry Division.

Mr. Drake moved to Franklin in 1942 and was a member of Franklin Baptist Church for 52 years where he served as a former deacon before joining Sedley Baptist Church.

He was a lifelong supporter of Scouting having served as a Scout Master for Troop 28 in his earlier years.

Mr. Drake was the chairman and founder of Franklin Equipment Company, which manufactured off-highway mobile equipment specializing in forestry harvesting, especially the Franklin Logger.

Mr. Drake was instrumental in organizing and starting the YMCA in Franklin and served as the first chairman of the board of directors at Paul D. Camp Community College and on its Foundation Board. He was a former chairman of the board of Virginia National Bank and had served on the board of directors of Cypress Cove Country Club for many years.

Left to cherish his memory is his wife of 30 years, Juanita Branche Drake; his two sons, Roger Wilson Drake Jr. and wife, Ruth, and Randy Bert Drake and wife, Gladys; two daughters, Sara Gray Lee and husband, Scott, and Jennifer Gray Felts and husband, Brent; eight grandchildren, Cindy D. Drewry, Betty Ann Beard, Terri Lynn Drake, Timothy W. Drake and wife, Jenny, Alison Drake, Brian Drake and wife, Jennifer, Madison M. Felts, Kinston W. Felts and Jayden R. Lee; nine great-grandchildren, Sam, Victoria and Megan Drewry, Amanda, Adam and Ashley Beard, Jessica and Steven Wigley and Ethan Drake; and special caregivers, Wanda Ashburn, Ann Ellison, Joyce Rowland and Karen McNair.

A funeral will be conducted at 11 a.m. Friday, July 6, 2012, at Wright Funeral Home with the Rev. James Foreman officiating. Burial with military honors will be at Rosemont Cemetery in Sedley.

The family will receive friends Thursday, July 5, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the funeral home and suggests memorial donations be made to Sedley Baptist Church or any favorite charity.