Juanita B. Drake

Published 6:38 pm Monday, October 30, 2017

SEDLEY — After a lengthy and courageous battle with ovarian cancer, Juanita Branche Drake passed away quietly in her home in Sedley on Oct. 29, 2017.

Juanita B. Drake

A Sedley native and Southampton High School graduate, Juanita worked in the business department at Southampton Memorial Hospital for 10 years before stopping to raise her family. A devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend, she was also an avid horseback rider and, above all, loved cutting her grass.

Juanita loved life, laughter and family.

Left to cherish her memories is an entire community of family and friends whom she relied upon for support and prayers during her battle with her illness. She was most grateful for the spiritual guidance of Pastor Jim Foreman enabling her and her family to prepare for her transition with comfort.

Family members who will miss her dearly include her daughters, Sara Gray Lee and her husband, Scott, and Jennifer Gray Felts and her husband, Brent; her grandchildren, Madison M. Felts, Kinston W. Felts and Jayden R. Lee; her siblings, Patrick Branche (Beverly), Gilbert (Mildred), Edna Wade (John), Bobby (Judi), John (Judy), Phyllis Cheatham (Jim) and Margaret Ann Connors (Mike); and over 30 nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by devoted husbands, Kenneth V. Gray and Roger W. Drake Sr.; her parents, John and Lottye Branche; her sister, Carolyne; and her nephew, Joey Branche.

The family is extremely appreciative of caregivers, Wanda Ashburn and Daphine Worrell, who kept her comfortable during her final days. They are also thankful for the amazing support provided by Dr. Squatrito and his wonderful staff at Virginia Oncology; her hospice nurse, Lori; and the staff of Medi Home Health and Hospice, who lovingly cared for her and her family toward the end of her life.

The funeral will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 3, in Wright Funeral Home with the Rev. James Foreman officiating. Burial will follow in Rosemont Cemetery, Sedley.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday in the funeral home, and suggests that in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Sedley Baptist Church, the Cancer Care Foundation of Tidewater, P.O. Box 12693, Norfolk, VA 23541 or a favorite charity. www.wrightfuneralhome.org.