John Amos Drake, Sr. celebrated his 100th birthday on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at the Union Chapel M.B. Church Boone-Lacy Fellowship Hall. Approximately 400 guests attended this event of grandeur! These well-wishers included a throng of relatives and friends from the states of California, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Maryland, Virginia, Texas, North Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia and Tennessee. Alabama guests were from Mobile, Dothan, Anniston, Decatur, Athens, and of course Madison County.
The celebration focused on baseball because Mr. Drake has always loved the sport. He played the game during his youth and still looks forward to watching the World Series. The occasion was presented by son Steven Drake who presented a very inspiring analogy between life and baseball innings. The grandchildren and great-grandchildren presented a song of love and esteem that they had written set to the tune of “Take me Out to the Ballgame.” Eulasteen Drake Abernathy (daughter) and Larry Abernathy (son-in-law), primary caregivers, presented what “A Day in the Life of Pop” looks like. “Pop” is what Mr. Drake is affectionately called sometimes. Ten nonagenerians (individuals who are between 90 and 100) received encouragement as they approach their centennial milestone. Songs were sung by Louise Duncan (Compton, CA), Johnathan Crutcher (great nephew-Lansing, MI), Joyce Drake (daughter-Norwalk, CA) and Calvin Drake (son- Harvest, AL).
The honoree was married to Mary Johnson Drake for fifty-five years until her passing in 1995. They were blessed with and raised eleven children (two are deceased) and a nephew. Mr. Drake is a member of the Indian Creek P. B. Church. He is a World War II veteran (Army) with duty in Belgium, France and Germany from March 1942 until his honorable discharge in September 1945. He and his family were small cotton farmers, and he was also employed by Thiokol Chemical Corporation until his retirement in 1984. Incidentally, the honoree has been a subscriber to Speakin’ Out News for many years!