Raymond “Ray” Paul Drake passed away on June 11, 2021, at his home in Ozark, at the age of 96, surrounded by his family. Ray was able to stay home due to the devoted care of his wife, Gisela, and daughter, Yvonne Marsh and with the compassionate assistance of Seasons Hospice. Ray was devoted to serving God, had a deep love for his family, and an intense passion for life.
Ray was born on July 13, 1924 to Adda M. and Anderson G. Drake in Nuyaka, Oklahoma. He was one of 10 children, 7 brothers and 2 sisters, all of whom preceded him in death. Ray would often say he “lived the Grapes of Wrath” as his family worked hard to find ways to survive during the Great Depression. They even fled the dustbowl of Oklahoma to seek a new life in California for a short time – but did not find gold and so returned to Oklahoma.
Ray joined the Navy during World War II where he served on a gunner ship. He would share the story of how he gave his life to God one evening while standing on the deck of that ship, and that commitment to God would direct the rest of his life. After completing his time in the Navy, he reenlisted in the Army and eventually served in Europe as part of the Military Police. While stationed in Europe, he met Gisela Wagner while attending a small church in her hometown of Krehwinkel, Germany. They developed a loving relationship over several years, primarily through letters, until they eventually married on March 8, 1958.
Once settled in Springfield, Missouri, Ray completed his Bachelor of Arts from Evangel University in 1961. He went on to pastor at multiple churches as well as serving as an educator in Springfield Public Schools while continuing his own education by earning his Masters at Drury University in 1964 and his Doctorate at Oklahoma State University in 1973.
Ray and Gisela had three daughters, Damaris, Yvonne and Gisele during those early years. Ray’s family grew with two sons-in-law, John Crow and Chris Bauman. Ray deeply loved his family and was especially overjoyed with the arrival of his grandchildren, Christopher, Drake, Paige and Sophia. He anxiously awaited the arrival of his first great grandchild, Grayson, who was born just days before Ray passed.
Ray’s zest for life was seen in many ways. In his retirement, Ray found joy in keeping and breeding Missouri Foxtrotter horses. He would occasionally show those horses and even won a Blue Ribbon with his prized Palomino horse, Traveler’s Touch of Tyme. Ray was often found atop his riding lawn mower, always at the maximum speed, or out working in his garden where he prided himself on a bumper crop of tomatoes by July 4th, the epitome of success in Ray’s book!
He and Gisela enjoyed many days spent at Tablerock Lake. Their lake house, co-owned with one of Gisela’s brothers, was the site of many family gatherings and hosted many visitors from Germany.
Ray is survived, not only by his immediate family, but also by many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, and his church family.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donation to Seasons Hospice in Springfield Missouri. Information regarding donations may be found on their website at https://springfieldhospice.com/donate/
A funeral service for Dr. Raymond Paul Drake will be held at 12:00 P.M. on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at Adams Funeral Home, Ozark, with Pastor Jacob Schneider and Reverend Richard McGeHee officiating. Burial with full military honors will follow at 2:00 P.M. at Missouri Veterans Cemetery, Springfield.
Visitation will be from 5-7:00 P.M. Tuesday, June 15, 2021 at Adams Funeral Home, Ozark.
*THE LIVESTREAM FOR DR. DRAKE'S FUNERAL SERVICE CAN BE FOUND ON THE TRIBUTE WALL TAB OF THIS P[AGE*