Thomas G. Drake 1928 - 2020
Thomas Gordy Drake passed away peacefully at the age of 91 on April 7, 2020 in his home surrounded by his loving family. Tom was born on July 18, 1928 in Birmingham, Alabama to his father Don Paul Drake and mother Tommie Gordy Drake.
Tom Drake is survived by his wife of 68 years Joanne (Joni) Drake, his five children; Daughter Alison Drake, Son Drew Drake, Son Dalton Drake, Daughter Jodi Drake McDaniel, and Son Dyer Drake, all of Fort Myers; as well as Daughter-in-law Julie Drake, Liz Brannock, and Son-in-law Marc Harris, Grandchildren Tyler McDaniel, Bradley McDaniel, Wyatt Drake, Dylan Drake, Landon Drake, and Great Grandchildren Aubrey McDaniel, Easton McDaniel and Palmer Drake, also a Sister Sue Carlton in addition to many Nieces and Nephews. He is predeceased by brother Don Drake, and sisters Marjorie Drake Starnes and Virginia Blass.
Tom moved to Fort Myers from Tampa Florida with his family in 1932 and was a graduate of Fort Myers Senior High School in 1946. He enlisted in the U. S. Army and was stationed at Fort Ord in Marina, California from 1947 and 1948, becoming a Military Police Officer. Tom returned to Fort Myers in 1948 and attended Stetson University. In 1949 he met his future wife Joanne Arpasi and they married on August 5, 1951. Tom was a well respected businessman in a number of industries and began a life long career in real estate, development and banking. He was well known in the Lee County area for his early involvement in the growth of Lehigh Acres. He sat on the board of directors for Sun Bank of Southwest Florida, and was a founding investor/director of Heritage National Bank (later acquired by SouthTrust Bank). He proudly served multiple terms as the Vice President of the Board of Seminole Electric Cooperative in Tampa, Florida, and also as the President of the Board of Lee County Electric Cooperative (LCEC).
From a very early age Tom developed an insatiable passion for golf which he carried through out his life and at the age of 14 he also learned how to play Gin Rummy from WWII Army Air Force training pilots, when hired to work at the Buckingham Army Air Field, under a special government dispensation program. He was a consummate player at both, and an esteemed opponent to everyone who knew him. Tom was an early member of Cypress Lake County Club where he built a life-long group of friends and was recognized for his wit and competitive spirit. In 1969 he and touring golf pro JC Goosie won the Florida State Pro-Amateur Championship. Tom shot a 68 and a 71 in the final two rounds of that tournament. Tom often said that had it not been for the blessed fortune of meeting his wife Joni he would have followed a career path as a pro golfer. He indeed had the drive and skills to do it. He was described as a true renaissance man.
The Drake family would like to thank all of our friends who have reached out and sent condolences during our time of sorrow. In lieu of flowers we ask that donations be made to the Community Cooperative (Soup Kitchen) in Fort Myers whose goal is Feeding People Nourishing Lives.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Thomas G Drake, please visit our floral store.