Sunday, June 12, 2016

Col. (Ret) James Maurice Drake II: Funeral to include helicopter flyover, 21 gun salute

A funeral for retired Col. Jim Drake of the Kentucky National Guard Monday will include a 21 gun salute and a three helicopter flyover.

According to Walter Leaumont, Kentucky National Guard Public Affairs officer, the funeral will be at noon. The helicopters will fly over and the shots will be fired between 1 and 1:30 p.m.



Col. (Ret) James Maurice Drake II


Jim is survived by his wife of 33 years, Ruth Eaton Drake; his children, James M. Drake III of Berea, Ky., Jay (Rita) Drake of Richmond, Ky., Alicia (Stan) Riley of Frankfort, Ky., and Ashleigh (Mark) Kennedy of Lawrenceburg, Ky.;  six grandchildren, Caleb and Wyatt Kennedy; Nicholas, Ethan and Gavin Riley; Shayla Allen, and his beloved dog, Woodee; two brothers, Jerry (Anita) Drake of Phoenix, Ariz., and Tom Drake of Ossian, Ind.; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.

Jim attended Eastern Kentucky University where he enrolled in the Army ROTC program and was heavily involved in Pershing Rifles. He completed his education at EKU in 1969 as a Distinguished Military Graduate and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the US Army. He served proudly on active duty for nearly ten years. His service took him to Vietnam as a helicopter pilot.

He served in various stateside duty stations including Fort Knox, Fort Sill, and Fort Lewis. Jim discovered an opportunity to serve his nation as well as the Commonwealth and joined the Kentucky National Guard in 1978.  He served in numerous assignments in both Field Artillery and Aviation branches. 

His last assignment was on the Adjutant General’s staff as the Director of Personnel. Col. Drake retired on April 30, 1995, with more than 26 years of military service. 

His numerous awards and decorations included the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Master Army Aviator Badge, Air Assault Badge, Ranger Tab and Vietnam Campaign Medal.

Jim loved music. In particular he enjoyed brass bands and American March music. He was quite an accomplished tuba player. 

Arrangements are under the direction of LeCompte Johnson Taylor Funeral Home, 1725 Louisville Road, Frankfort, KY 40601. Visitation will be at the funeral home on Sunday, June 12, from 1-4 p.m. (EST) for family and friends. The funeral will be held at First United Methodist Church, 211 Washington St., Frankfort, KY 40601 on Monday, June 13. Visitation will be from noon (EST)-1 p.m. (EST) at the church with funeral to follow at 1 p.m. (EST).

Col. Drake will be interred at Kentucky Veterans Cemetery Central in Radcliff, Ky., at a time to be determined.

Serving as honorary pallbearers will be MG (Ret) Michael Davidson, COL (Ret) Roger Green, COL (Ret) Cleland White, MAJ (Ret) Marty Pinkston, Greg Strange, Bobby Courtney, Denny Tigges and Charles Smith.

Expressions of sympathy can be made to Kentucky National Guard Memorial, PO Box 5466, Frankfort, KY 40602-5466 or United Methodist Church, 211 Washington Street, Frankfort, KY 40601.

You may share memories and leave condolences on his tribute wall at www.ljtfuneralhome.com.

Source:  http://m.state-journal.com

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