Peter Frederick Drake
July 31, 2019
Peter Frederick Drake, 85, died peacefully on July 18, 2019, in the home of Patrick and Terese Slattery at Middle Ridge, Wis., where he was part of the family for more than 15 years.
Peter was born Nov. 6, 1933 in La Crosse, Wis., the first of five children born to Charles and Vienna (Kennedy) Drake of Lanesboro. He graduated from Lanesboro High School in 1951. In 1952, he joined the U.S. Navy and served for four years stationed in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and North Seas. He was proud to be a veteran and was a long-time member of the American Legion Post in Whalan, MN. After returning home, he spent 12 years employed by the Lanesboro Produce Company in its egg picking plant. He had a life-long fascination with poultry and was a fancier of pretty feathered fowl.
A major turning point in his life was joining Alcoholics Anonymous and achieving the peace of 37 years of total sobriety. His A.A. compatriots were especially dear to him. Troubled by mental instability, Peter spent some recuperative time at the V.A. Hospital in Tomah, Wis. He then went to a group home in Marshfield, Wis., for 25 years and worked at the Marshfield Shelter Facility. Although he spent 25 years in Marshfield, he never bonded with Central Wisconsin… too flat, too German.
Following retirement, Peter fulfilled his dream to return to his homeland of the Driftless Area. He spent a year in a group home in La Crosse, Wis., before moving in with the Slattery family in 2003. He had finally found a home where he wasn’t told, he was full of useless information.
Peter will be remembered fondly for his wonderful eccentricities. He was an agrarian populist, an accomplished scholar, a keen conversationalist, and a lover of all things Norwegian, especially lutefisk dinners at Lutheran churches. He didn’t care for greed, television, professional sports, modern country music, and white leghorn chickens.
He was a man of great charity and took delight in giving away his money. He accomplished his life’s goal of not being the richest man in the graveyard.
Peter was pre-deceased by his parents, two brothers and two nephews.
He is survived by his sister, Dianne Drake of Rochester; his brother, Michael (Carol) Drake of St. Paul; his sister-in-law, Marge Drake of Lanesboro; his 11 nieces and nephews; and the Slattery family of Middle Ridge, Wis.
A funeral Mass for Peter Drake was celebrated July 21, 2019, at St. Peter’s Church in Middle Ridge, Wis. Burial services were held in the Veteran’s Cemetery in Preston, MN.