Joe Clinton Drake Jr., 86, died August 18, 2012 at his home in Riverton, Wyoming, from Mesothelioma.
Joe was born May 5, 1926 on Drake’s Branch Road, Davidson County, Tennessee to Joe Clinton Drake and Winnie Uree McGlothlin. He had one sister, Ettie, and two brothers, Henry and John. Joe graduated from high school in May 1944 and immediately left for the Navy. He received his boot camp training at Camp Perry, Virginia, then went to Amphibious Warfare and Rocket School. He served in the Pacific War Zone on the Landing Craft LCSL 3-94. He was released six months after Japan surrendered. He returned to Tennessee and farmed for a while. When the Korean War broke out he went back into the Navy and was assigned to the APA Bexar Ship. He was honorably released both times that he served. He was a life time member of the VFW Post 6125 in Hudson, Wyoming. He served for many years as the chaplain of Post 18 of the American Legion in Kearny, Arizona.
In 1952 he went to Arizona to work for the Kennecott Copper Company. In 1954 when they cut back on employees he went to Fairbanks, Alaska and worked on the Gold Dredges. He took flying lessons and purchased a Piper J-3 plane with ski’s and floats. He had a lot of fun with this plane. He returned to Arizona in 1956 and spent the next 20 years at Kennecott Copper. In 1976 he was transferred to a Coal mine in Kayenta, Arizona. In November 1977 he moved his family to Rawlins, Wyoming where he worked for a Uranium Mine, retiring in 1990.
In 1962 he married Elizabeth Wanda Freeman in the Mesa, Arizona Temple. They had one son and three daughters. Joe was active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and held many positions from teacher, secretary, president of quorums to serving in the Saratoga Wyoming Ward Bishopric.
From April 1992 to October 1993, he and Wanda served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Dallas Texas Temple. They also served in 1994-1995 in the Denver, Colorado Temple and 2001-2003 in the Ogden, Utah Temple.
Joe enjoyed visiting his family, his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and extended family. He loved the outdoors, from hunting, fishing, taking care of his yard and working in his shop, to working in his garden and traveling on off-roads to explore the country. He loved the dogs that he had throughout the years, and last a little cat that followed his every step when he would be working in the yard.
Survivors include his wife Wanda, a son Joe F. and wife Julie of Gilbert, Arizona; three daughters, Laurie and Jim Ogden of Craig, Colorado; Debbie and Vince Irene of Lander, Wyoming; and Linda and Raul Amparan of Chandler, Arizona. He also leaves a sister Ettie and Aaron Grassland of Kearny, Arizona, and sister-in-law Emily Drake in Florida. A total of 18 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren survive him. He was preceded in death by his father, mother, and two brothers. He is survived by many nephews and nieces.
Viewing will be on Thursday, August 23, 2012 in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Aspen Park Ward on North Fourth and Elizabeth Street from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Funeral services will be in the same building at 11 a.m., with Bishop Martin Devries Jr. officiating. Burial will follow with the dedication of the grave at the Mount Hope Cemetery, Lander, Wyoming.
On-line guest book: www.HudsonsFuneralHome.com.
May 5, 1926 – August 18, 2012