John N. Drake (Jack), born March 11, 1932, in St. Louis, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on his birthday, March 11, in Scottsdale. Jack graduated from the University of Missouri in 1955 and served his country in the United States Air Force before starting his career at Emerson Electric. In 1974, he decided to start his own business, Drake Homes, and specialized in constructing high-end custom homes in the St. Louis area.
Jack was known for his community services where in 1984 he was president of the St. Louis Home Builders Associations, started an annual fundraising event in 1972 for the Academy of the Sacred Heart, a grade school in St. Charles, Mo., and a similar fundraiser for the University of Missouri Veterinary School. Both events were critical in maintaining operating status for the schools. Upon retirement in 1999, he moved to Phoenix to be close to his grown daughters and their families.
Jack was highly regarded for his generosity, kindness and Catholic faith in God. In addition to being a devoted brother and servant to Christ, Jack was a loving father and grandfather whose spirit of strength and support will be greatly missed by his family.
Jack is survived by his daughters, Denise Drake Lawless (Tim) of Phoenix and Dr. Michele Drake (Dwight Fromm) of Encinitas, Calif.; a brother, Roy E. Drake of Florrisant, Mo.; his former wife Jeaninne Drake; four grandchildren, Clare, Christopher, Grace and Matthew; as well as a host of nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. The family would especially like to thank the many wonderful people of Ahwatukee who so generously helped him with his Parkinson's challenge.
A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 14, at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 3550 E. Knox Road. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the National Parkinson Foundation-Arizona Chapter, 500 W. Thomas Road, Suite 720, Phoenix, AZ 85013; the Academy of the Sacred Heart, 619 N. 2nd St., St. Charles, MO 63301; or the Ahwatukee Foothills YMCA, 1030 E. Liberty Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85048. Arrangements were handled by Messinger Indian School Mortuary.