Daniel Dwight Drake, 81, of Amarillo, TX died Tuesday, June 20, 2023.
Services will be at 10:00 a.m., Monday, June 26, 2023, at Boxwell Brothers Ivy Chapel, 2800 Paramount Blvd. Interment will be in Memorial Park Cemetery East Mausoleum.
Daniel Dwight Drake was born 22 September 1941, to Dwight Newell Drake and Doris Arlene Ballard Drake, in Ft. Worth, Texas. He was raised in Perryton where he attended all twelve years, and graduated from Perryton High School, class of 1960.
He married the former Neva Jane Brown, 25th August 1962 in Amarillo, and lived in Perryton where both of their daughters were born. The family moved to Amarillo when he started working for Levi Strauss in March 1970. Dan went to work for Pantex Plant in September 1976. He retired from BWXT Pantex, January 2003.
Dan was a member of Hillside Christian Church.
Dan enjoyed doing genealogy research on his Drake and Ballard side of the family. He was a member of Descendant of Austin’s Old 300. His ancestor, Leo Roark, and his parents came with Stephen F. Austin to what is now known as Texas in 1821 and fought to help Texas become a state. Leo Roark, fought at the Battle of San Jacinto with Sam Houston, where Santa Anna was captured. This was the starting point of Dans’ Texas roots and heritage, on his mother’s side. He also was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution. Another ancestor was in the Confederate States Army.
While growing up, there was always music in the home. He grew to enjoy the music of the 1930’s and 1940’s. He listened to Glenn Miller Band and Tommy Dorsey and other big bands of the era. Things changed when the ’50s came around. Dan enjoyed most ‘rock and roll” music, but his thing was classic country music and oldies, which he enjoyed all his life. Gospel music was a big part of his life and Dan made a number of trips to see the “Gaither Homecoming” shows. One of his favorite entertainers was Lynda Randle.
Dan enjoyed traveling. One of the most enjoyable trips was from Auckland, NZ to Sydney, AU on a twelve-day cruise with friends. He enjoyed the mountains of CO and NM, where his parents took Dan and his sister, Karen, for one or two weeks most summers. When Dan’s children were small, they would also visit the mountains, that held so many memories of his youth. The family also traveled to other states. Since his parents enjoyed traveling, Dan got his enjoyment by traveling also. Dan was always looking for new places of interest, to visit and check out.
Dan didn’t like to travel the interstates. He enjoyed the slower pace of life. He enjoyed the back roads of Texas. If he saw an old courthouse that looked interesting, he’d stop and inquire into the history of it. If he came to a town that had to do with Texas History, he would stop and gather information on the town’s history. As Dan once said, “if he had been more interested in history back in school, as he was later on in life, he would have gotten more out of his history class.” He was immensely proud of his Texas roots and heritage, as well as of his North Carolina roots and heritage, where his Drake grandparents were from.
Fall was his favorite time of the year. He enjoyed the Palo Duro Canyon foliage. Or a drive through part of the area, checking out the foliage. Or maybe a short getaway trip up to Angel Fire, Red River, or many Colorado Springs’ areas. The fall foliage in the Carolina’s. He said, you had to be in the Blue Ridge Mountains where you could smell the trees, from a fresh rain, see the foliage on the mountain side, and feel fall in the air. And if the time was right, maybe see the first snow fall on the mountain tops. Yes, fall was what it was all about for Dan.
Dan always enjoyed seeing the famous Riverdance shows from Ireland, whenever possible. His trip to Ireland was a dream that someday, he hoped he would make, to gather more information on his Irish heritage. He enjoyed the Celtic / Irish music. As a young kid growing up, his grandmother Ballard or Mother would sing the old Irish song “Danny Boy” at night, to get him to sleep. This has always been one of his favorite songs.
Dan was an organ donor to help other people.
Dan was preceded in death by his parents, Dwight Newell Drake and Doris Ballard Drake.
Survivors include two daughters, Denise Brinson and husband Mike of Amarillo, and Trina Renegar and husband Gregg of Amarillo; one sister, Karen Dianne Slagle and husband Mike of Amarillo; grandchildren, Marcus Dale Liedtke and wife Julie of Amarillo, Emily Shenea Drake of Abilene, Michael Anthony Mundell of Amarillo, and Kelsi Brinson of South Carolina; and three great-grandchildren, Kadyn Marie, Kambri Jane, and Kynlee Liedtke of Amarillo.