Our father Ronald Lewis Drake (Ron) 84 passed away February 16, 2017 in Orem, Utah. He was born March 25, 1932 in Mehoopany, Pennsylvania to Worthy Henry Drake and Mabel Elavene Wintermute He spent his career as a research scientist and mathematician, modeling problems in air, soil and groundwater contamination. He was diagnosed with Parkinson shortly after retirement.
Despite declining physical abilities (which he met with an acceptance we found admirable), he maintained a voracious habit of reading and learning. He kept up with a broad range of current topics in mathematics and the sciences, and also read widely within the humanities.
In our earliest recollections of our Dad we were taught to pray for our friends, neighbors, relatives and enemies. We asked if we had any "emanies"?.... Dad replied, "no, not now, but some day you may, and we must always pray for them.
We always remember time spent with Dad was time being taught by him. As children, he took us to the zoo and we learned about the animals. Philadelphia has numerous museums and we visited many of them, always being taught about history, art, space travel, etc. We visited the museum of natural history, the wax museum, the Franklin Institute, the Philadelphia Art Museum,trips to Estes Park etc.
Dad taught us through many of the games we played, such as the card game Authors, in the activities we engaged in such as swimming (which he taught us how to do), Dad instilled in us a love of camping and the great outdoors and how to behave safely in nature. In his younger years he was an avid photographer of nature taking hundreds of pictures of flowers, mountains, streams and landscapes. Dad signed some of us, who showed and interest, up for a Science club, where, each month we would receive a special kit , like a rock collection kit, complete with samples of identified rocks, a butterfly net as well as a book on butterfly identification, a book on stars and constellations, etc.
Education and learning was so important to Dad. He attended Drexel Institute of Technology, Penn State and Colorado State University He earned a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering, a master's degree in Mathematics and finally a PhD in Philosophy, Dad attended many summer institute's, authored and published many professional papers and contributed to a number of scientific publications.
In his retirement years when his physical body slowed down, for fun, he filled several spiral ring notebooks with differential equations and would listen to books and lectures on tape/CD. His zest for learning had been a life long process.
Dad has also been such a good example with regard to his kindness, consideration, and generosity to people of all races and ethnicity. He annually made financial contributions to Native American children, Law Enforcement Officers helping under privileged children and numerous other funds. he was a regular contributor to St Josephs Indian School and Paralyzed Veterans of America and Wounded Warriors.
One of our brothers quoted a piece of scripture which seems appropriate to our fathers life and outlook. found in Ecclesiastes it says "A generation comes and a generation goes, but earth abides"
Dad is survived by his six children Chris (Kent) Johnson, Gary (MarieLynn), Barry, David (Nicole Weiss),Dan, John (Susana) and his brother Carl Drake. He is also survived by many grand children, great grand children, nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents and sisters Shirley and Joan.
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