The Descendants

Of

Almond Henry Drake

 

WORKING DRAFT

Last Change: 9 April 2017

 

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John Drake I of Windsor, Connecticut

John Drake II - Gen 2

Enoch Drake - Gen 3

Nathanial Drake - Gen 4

Josiah Drake I - Gen 5

Josiah Drake II - Gen 6

Josiah Drake III - Gen 7

Ziba Drake - Gen 8

Almond Drake - Gen 9

George Edgar Drake I - Gen 10

Almond Henry Drake - Gen 11

Roxanna Cool - Gen 11

 

Drake, Ekard Almond 1987 (3) #.jpg

 

Ekard Almond Drake (1920 - 2009)

 

Drake Generation 12 in America

Descendant # 2

 

1.  Ekard’s parents: Almond Henry and Roxanna (Cool) Drake

 

2.  Ekard’s birth: 13 February 1920 at home in an old, converted Quaker Meeting Place at Ward’s Corners between Evans Mills and LeRaysville in the Town of LeRay, Jefferson County, New York.  This facility was located on the George E. and Mary Arvilla (Briant) Drake farm, which had, previously, been the Henry and Louisa (Kirchner) Briant farm.

 

    Ekard’s death: 1 April 2009 at the Samaritan Medical Center, Watertown, Jefferson County, New York from old age, accelerated and exacerbated by the complications of diabetes and heart failure (see Para. 10, below).  Donated his remains to medical science; cremated remains will eventually be interred in Rural Cemetery, Adams, New York.  A celebration of life service was held 9 Apr at the Henderson United Methodist Church, followed by a reception in the Henderson Community Building.  Reverend William Palmer (see gen 2, Para 4.C.(3.(a.(2) of the Cool Annex) of Mexico, New York and Pastor Laura Barber of Henderson officiated the service.

 

3.  Ekard’s formal education:

 

From

To

School Name, Location, Diploma/Degree

1924

1932

LeRaysville Elementary School; started school at age 4½.

1932

1933

Evans Mills Elementary School

1933

1937

Evans Mills High School.  State Diploma.  Would have graduated with his older sister, Anna, in 1936 (and, in fact, according to Anna had a higher grade point average than Anna, who was class Salutatorian), but he didn’t focus sufficiently on course work (math, etc.) in his senior year, necessitating a redo the next year to have enough credits to graduate.

1937

1939

Diesel Mechanic School by correspondence, including two months shop training in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 

4.  Ekard’s military Service:

 

From

To

Location, Job

1942

1943

Volunteered for the Air Force on 8 December 1941, the day following the Pearl Harbor invasion, but was disqualified from service in any branch due to uneven teeth (an open bite).  Four months later the services were less picky.  Did exceptionally well on the Air Force entrance exam and went to Albany for an Air Force physical exam, which he failed due to color blindness.  Joined the Army instead and departed for basic training at Fort Eustice, Virginia on 6 April 1942 (service #: 32284993).  Applied for vehicle mechanic school, but was not accepted.  Chose Weapon Mechanic School instead, where he learned to maintain all weapons, from pistols to 8” rail-mounted guns.  Member of the 445th Anti-aircraft Artillery Battalion (mobile) throughout World War II.  Deployed to European Theater of Operations in November 1943 aboard the Louis Pasteur, a French luxury liner.  No escort taken because the ship was much faster than German submarines.  However, during the crossing the Louis Pasteur lost one of its engines, making it vulnerable to attack.  Luckily, they got through without incident, though the weather was bad – high winds and seas, causing widespread sea sickness.  Ekard was one of the few who did not get sick.

1943

1944

In England training and waiting to invade Europe.  Crossed the English Channel in June 1944 (also very rough weather and sea conditions), landing in Normandy, France a couple of weeks following D-Day.

1944

1945

Campaigned across France, Belgium, and Germany until victory in 1945.  Spent a few months guarding convoys in Germany before returning to Boston (via Belgium) in November 1945 aboard the Kingston Victory, one of the so-called “Victory Ships.”  Again the seas were very rough, and again he was one of the very few who did not get sick.  Arrived in New York on 27 November 1945.

1946

1952

After leaving active duty joined the U.S. Army Reserves.  Was appointed Staff Sergeant in charge of the Motor Pool, a capacity for which he had little experience or interest.  Resigned after 6 years so he could make better use of the two weeks per year vacation he got from his civilian employment at the St Regis Paper Mill in Deferiet, N.Y.

 

5a. Ekard’s 1st marriage:

 

Drake, Ekard Almond 1947 and Dorothy Drake

 

a.  To whom:  Dorothy Elizabeth Cowen (photos) (more info) of Adams, New York.

 

(1)  Dorothy’s birth: 17 April 1922 at the House of the Good Samaritan Hospital, Watertown, Jefferson County, New York.  Baptized 26 November 1922 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Adams, New York, witnessed by her mother (Mable Cowen), her Aunt (May (Fowler) Johnson), and Frederick “Fred” L. Cooper (her God Father, who married S. May Gale (b. 1892, d. 1921)).

 

Dorothy’s death: At home (52 N. Main Street, West Carthage, N.Y. 13619) on Monday morning, 17 November 1975 from complications of cancer of the endometrium (mucus membrane lining the inner surface of the uterus).  Funeral services were held at the Bossuot Funeral Home, Carthage on Wednesday, 19 November; Reverend George J. Simpson from the Grace Episcopal Church in Carthage presided.  Interment was in the Cowen plot in Rural Cemetery, Adams, Jefferson County, New York, where she shares her parent’s pink granite monument.  Though she religiously had GYN checkups every six months for many years, by the time the cancer was discovered it was well established and had metastasized to her ovaries, bowel (including appendix), and liver.

 

(2)  Dorothy’s parents:  Leonard Thomas and Mabel Alice (Froome) Cowen

 

(3)  Dorothy’s formal education:

 

From

To

School Name, Location, Diploma/Degree

 

 

 

 

1940

Adams High School, Adams, Jefferson County, New York

 

(4)  Dorothy’s employment history:

 

From

To

Employer, Location, Job Title

1927

1940

Student

 

 

Syracuse; resided with friend Phyllis (?) Wodowick, whose daughter, Nancy, was Flower Girl at Dorothy’s wedding.

 

1947

O.D Green Lumber Company, Adams, New York; bookkeeper.

1947

1975

Homemaker

 

(5)  Dorothy’s residences before marriage:

 

From

To

Addresses

1922

1933

Living with her parents, and eventually her sister, in a rented house at 19 Grange Avenue, Adams, New York.

1933

1942

Living with her parents and sister in a rented house at 19 Grove Street, Adams, New York.

1942

 

Syracuse

 

1947

Living with her parents and sister in a house owned by her parents at 30 East Church Street, Adams, New York 13605.

 

(6)  Dorothy’s organizational affiliations:

 

From

To

Organization

 

 

Grace Episcopal Church, Carthage, New York; member

 

 

Order of the Eastern Star, Chapter 276, Carthage, New York.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(7)  Other biographical notes on Dorothy:

 

(a) Took thyroid medication from age 15.  Was also diagnosed with “pernicious anemia.”  Some people from church confronted her parents one day with an observation that Dorothy didn’t look healthy and needed to see a physician.  That led to the diagnosis.

 

b.  When & where married: Saturday, 1 November 1947 in the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Church Street, Adams, Jefferson County, New York.  Reception one block south at the Cowen residence, 30 East Church Street, Adams.

 

c.  Children:

 

(1)  John Edward Drake: Born 1948.

 

(2)  William James Drake: Born 1950.

 

(3)  Katherine Elizabeth Drake: Born 1951.

 

(4)  Thomas Leonard Drake: Born 1954.

 

Drake, Ekard Almond 1981 children (21) #.jpg

 

(5)  Lawrence Robert Drake: Still born in 1954.  Interred in Cowen Plot, Adams Rural Cemetery, Adams, Jefferson County, New York.  In those days New York State law required the recording of still births as deaths and regular cemetery interment for the remains.

 

Note:  One later pregnancy failed prior to birth.  Twin boys.

 

5b. Ekard’s 2nd marriage:

 

Drake, Ekard Almond 1987 Lucina Mae 8

 

a.  To whom:  Lucina Mae (Van Allen) Kenfield

 

(1)  Lucina’s birth: 1924 at home on the family farm near Perch Lake in the Town of LeRay, Jefferson County, New York.

 

(2)  Lucina’s parents: Howard Almond and Jesse Mae (Kelsey) Van Allen.

 

(3)  Lucina’s formal education:

 

From

To

School Name, Location, Diploma/Degree

1930

1938

First through eighth grades at Perch Lake Elementary School.

1938

1942

Evans Mills High School, Evans Mills, New York; State Diploma; Member of National Honor Society.

 

(4)  Lucina’s employment history:

 

From

To

Employer, Location

1942

1943

F.W. Woolworth Company, Watertown, New York; Sales Associate (clerk).

1943

1944

Faichney Instrument Company, Watertown, New York; Thermometer Maker.

1944

1945

Bagley and Sewall Company, Watertown, New York; Artillery Shell Inspector.

1945

1980

Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company (A&P); Watertown, New York; started as office clerk, then promoted to Deli Manager.

 

(5)  Lucina’s residences:

 

From

To

Location

1924

1942

Living with parents on family farm near Perch Lake, LeRay Township, Jefferson County, New York.

1942

1945

Shared apartment with girl friends during World War II on Flower Avenue East, Watertown, New York.

1945

1975

Living with first husband and daughters on family farm outside Burrville, Jefferson County, New York; Star Route 1, Watertown, New York 13601.

1975

1978

Living with and caring for mother on family farm near Perch Lake, Jefferson County, New York.

1978

1982

52 North Main Street, West Carthage, Jefferson County, New York.

1982

Now

5601 Nutting Steet Road, Henderson, New York 13650-2119.

 

(6)  Lucina’s organizational affiliations:

 

From

To

School Name, Location, Diploma/Degree

1936

1940

Pamelia Grange, Pamelia, Jefferson County, New York.

1978

Now

Order of Eastern Star (OES)

1980

Now

Henderson United Methodist Church, Henderson, New York.

 

(7)  Previously married to: Gordon Francis Kenfield

Gordie

 

(a)  When: 1942.  Was kept a secret until after her graduation from Evans Mills High School, a few weeks later.  Gordon had enlisted in the Army, like so many others of that period, and was deployed overseas shortly thereafter.

 

(b)  Where ceremony performed: Justice of the Peace, Theresa Township, Jefferson County, New York.

 

(c)  Divorce: Effective July 1978.  Recorded at the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office, Watertown, New York.

 

(8)  Children:

 

(a)  Patricia Mae (Kenfield)(Waters) Drake: Born 1946.

 

(b)  Noreen Margaret (Kenfield)(Braman) Ottman: Born 1950.

 

 

 

(9)  Lucina’s favorite pets:

 

(10) Other biographical notes on Lucina:

 

a.  The name “Lucina” was created by her mother by combining the first name of a close friend, Lucinda, and the first name of her paternal grandmother, Lucia.

 

b.  When & where married: 1978 in the United Methodist Church, Adams, New York.

 

6.  Ekard’s favorite pets:

 

7.  Ekard’s employment history:

 

From

To

Employer, location, job title

1920

1937

Student/farm chores

1937

1938

Pickert farm in Evans Mills, New York.  Farm laborer.

1938

1940

Several other farm labor jobs, including one on the farm operated by John Zimmer (see Van Allen and Schell annexes) in the Perch Lake area of LeRay Township, Jefferson County, New York (see 1940 US Census record, below).

1940

1942

Bordens Milk Products Plant in Evans Mills, New York.  Cheese maker.  Quit on 8 December 1941 (day after Pearl Harbor) to join the military, but delays in being accepted pushed departure into 1942.

1942

1945

U.S. Army during World War II

1945

1982

St Regis Paper Company, Deferiet, Jefferson County, New York.  Machinist.  Operated large lathes to finish rollers that are part of paper machines.

1982

1995

Handy-man around Henderson, Jefferson County, New York.

1995

2009

Retired

 

8.  Ekard’s addresses:

 

From

To

Address

1920

1921

With parents at Ward’s Corners (between Evans Mills and LeRaysville on Route 26) in an old, converted Quaker Meeting Place

1921

1937

With parents, mostly at the family farm on Route 26 between Evans Mills and LeRaysville, New York

1937

1942

For at least part of this period, resided with the John Zimmer household on Perch Lake Road, LeRay Township, Jefferson County, New York.  This is where he 1st met the Zimmers' neighbor, Lucina Mae Van Allen, who he married 2nd.

1942

1946

Moved constantly while in U.S. Army during World War II.

1946

1947

Lived with parents on family farm outside Adams, Jefferson County, New York.  Commuted long distance to work in Deferiet, New York.

1947

1948

213 Baron Avenue, Deferiet, Jefferson County, New York for 13 months from November 1947.  Newly constructed single family house owned by St Regis Paper Company to rent to employees.

1948

1982

52 North Main Street, West Carthage, Jefferson County, New York  13619.  Summers living at cottage owned by Mabel Cowen (mother-in-law) on Clark’s Point (Lake Ontario) in the Town of Henderson, Jefferson County, New York.

1982

2009

5601 (earlier Box 727) Nutting Street Road, Henderson, New York 13650-2119 (about ½ mile from the cottage mentioned above).  In a home he built by himself.

 

9.  Ekard’s organizational affiliations:

 

From

To

Organization, offices held

1946

2009

Free and Accepted Masons; 63-year member.  Was Master of the Carthage, New York Lodge in 1962 and 1974 and a longtime member of the Rising Light Masonic Lodge of Belleville, New York.  Other leadership positions held: Assistant Grand Lecturer for New York State in 1981, Grand Stewart for New York State in 1987, as well as District Deputy Grand Lecturer.

 

1982

Carthage Area Rescue Squad (ambulance/EMS service); founding member.

1975

2009

Order of the Eastern Star; 37-year member of the Eudora Chapter #136, Belleville, New York.  Was Patron in 1977 and 1981 and District Grand Lecturer in 1982.

1982

2009

Henderson United Methodist Church.  Was a Trustee.

 

 

Played trumpet as a youth in Floyd Wagner’s community band on the square in Evans Mills.  In retirement played trumpet in several recreational bands, including the Henderson Community Concert Band and the Triple-H Band.

 

10. US Census Records:

 

1920: Not yet born at the time of the enumeration.

 

1930: Ekard Drake, age 10, resided with his parents on the family farm between LeRaysville and Evans Mills, LeRay Township, Jefferson County, New York.  His father, Almond H. Drake, age 39 (b. NYS) was employed as a general farmer, who rented his farm and was married at age 25.  The household also included Ekard's mother, Roxanna C. Drake (age 30, b. MI, m. 1st age 16); daughter, Anna A. Drake (age 11); son, Louis A. Drake (age 6); son, George E. Drake (age 4); and son, Lorenzo D. Drake (age 4).

 

1940: Ekard Drake, age 21 (b. NYS), who had completed 4 years of high school, was employed as a farm laborer in the household headed by John Zimmer, age 27 (b. NYS) and employed as a farmer, on Perch Lake Road in LeRay Township, Jefferson County, New York.  John Zimmer had completed 4 years of high school.  The household also included John's wife, Eileen Zimmer, age 26 (b. NYS), who had completed 4 years of high school; and John's son, John Eldon Zimmer, age 2.

 

11. Other biographical notes on Ekard:

 

a.  In May 1944 Ekard was cited by British authorities for gallantry and heroism while stationed in Devonshire, England awaiting the allied invasion of Europe.  On an otherwise uneventful weekend he was repairing a machine gun on a bluff above a beach on the English Channel which was used during the work week for military training.  An approximately 13 year-old boy and his small raft (two 10” planks between two leaky, metal pontoons) was playing in the shallow waters off the beach when the Channel’s rip currents got the better of him and swept him off shore.  Ekard heard the boy’s panicked cries for help and ran to the scene.  He dove into the 60 degree Fahrenheit water and swam to the rescue, reaching the boy approximately 3 miles off shore.  The raft was nearly submerged, making it very difficult to move.  Fighting off sever leg cramps and hypothermia, Ekard was finally able to push the boy and his raft to shore, having spent more than three hours in the cold water.  A couple of days later the boy’s parents presented Ekard with their heartfelt thanks and an engraved (“To Sergt Ekard Drake, US Army, for his gallant act at Paignton, Devon, May 1944”), sterling silver cigarette case to commemorate the event.  This act of heroism was also documented by the local press and was the subject of a citation he received on behalf of the King of England from The Royal Humane Society.

 

b.  Would never miss an opportunity to go fishing.  He especially loved deep sea fishing, and, of course, loved to eat fish at any opportunity.  The fish fries held on Friday nights in near-by communities were a common outing for he and Lucina in their retirement years.

 

c.  Was diagnosed as being diabetic relatively late in life.  However, Ekard suspected, in retrospect, that the progressive numbness he had felt in his feet for more than 20 years was the result of undetected diabetes.  By the time it was diagnosed, the disease had caused irreversible problems, such as significantly reduced kidney function and the almost total lose of feeling in his legs below the knees, which made walking very difficult.  He also had quadruple heart by-pass surgery in 2004, which revealed damage to the heart that indicated he had experienced at some point at least one (apparently) “silent” heart attack.  In 2005 he also was treated for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and his tumors disappeared.  All of these challenges, combined with advancing age, contributed to increasingly deteriorating health.  In November 2008 he was put on supplemental oxygen full-time.  In late March 2009, Ekard was transported by ambulance to the hospital in an extremely weak, fragile condition that appeared to be the immediate result of very low kidney function, very low blood pressure, and, probably chemical imbalances precipitated by the dehydration that followed about 24 hours of nausea.  He also had an infection, perhaps the result of a kidney or gall stone, either of which could explain the nausea he had been experiencing.  While in the hospital his condition dramatically improved.  However, Ekard’s physician finally felt it was time to start kidney dialysis to counteract his increasingly reduced kidney function, and Ekard reluctantly agreed, realizing there were no other options if he wanted to stay alive, and he did.  On 1 April 2009, with discharged scheduled for the next day, Ekard was scheduled to have a port surgically installed in his neck area to facilitate dialysis.  The surgeon was unable to insert a catheter to that end and had to halt the procedure.  While the surgeon was out of the operating room to update Ekard’s family on this complication and the resultant need to transport him to Syracuse to have the procedure accomplished, it appeared to those still present and attending Ekard in the surgical suite that he suffered a fatal heart attack.  One second he was alert and (characteristically) joking with them, and the next second he was gone.  Under the circumstances, Ekard’s “do not resuscitate” directive was honored.  Immediate cause of death: acute pulmonary congestive heart failure.

 

d.  Ekard had an open bite (front teeth did not come together naturally).  As result he did not like to eat sandwiches with loose filling, which he had difficulty severing with his front teeth.

 

e.  Ekard played the trumpet in the Evans Mills HS band, as well as a community band organized by Floyd Waggoner (more info) in Evans Mills, called “Waggoner’s Band.”  Other members of his family were also members of Waggoner’s Band: sister, Anna, and cousins, Truman Arthur Cool and Mary Celestia (Drake) Dougall; also, perhaps, brother, Louis (trombone); brother, Lorenzo (trumpet).  Though Ekard kept a trumpet in his residence and would often play it with his children, as they practiced their various musical instruments for school music programs, he didn’t actively play the trumpet again in an organized way until he was a senior citizen.  For many years Ekard and Lucina joined and actively participated in several community bands, both playing their trumpets.  It was clear they enjoyed it.

 

 

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