Peter Drake, 85, once of Lanesboro

Peter Frederick Drake, 85, died on July 19, 2019, in the home of Patrick and Terese Slattery at Middle Ridge, Wis., where he was part of the family for more than 15 years.

He was born Nov. 6, 1933, in La Crosse, the first of five children born to Charles and Vienna (Kennedy) Drake of Lanesboro. He graduated from Lanesboro High School in 1951.

In 1952, he joined the U.S. Navy and served in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and North Seas. He was proud to be a veteran and was a longtime member of the American Legion Post in Whalan. After returning home, he spent 12 years employed by the Lanesboro Produce Company in its egg picking plant. He had a lifelong fascination for poultry with which he was extremely knowledgeable.

A major turning point in his life was joining Alcoholics Anonymous and achieving the peace of years of total sobriety. His A.A. compatriots were especially dear to him. Troubled by mental instability, he spent some recuperative time at the V.A. Hospital in Tomah, Wis. He then went to a group home in Marshfield, Wis., for 25 years and worked at the Marshfield Shelter Facility.

Following retirement, he fulfilled his dream to return to his homeland of the Driftless Area. He spent a year in a group home in La Crosse, Wis., before moving in with the Slattery family in 2013, where he lived a bucolic existence.

He will be remembered fondly for his wonderful eccentricities. He was a deep-reaching historian, a keen conversationalist and a lover of all things Norwegian, especially lutefisk dinners at Lutheran churches.

He was delighted in sharing his monetary blessings. He accomplished his life's goal of not being the richest man in the graveyard.

He is survived by his sister, Dianne Drake of Rochester; his brother, Michael (Carol) Drake of St. Paul; his sister-in-law, Marge Drake of Lanesboro; his 11 nieces and nephews; and the Slattery family of Middle Ridge, Wis.

He was predeceased by his two brothers and two nephews.

A funeral Mass was held on July 21 at St. Peter's Church in Middle Ridge, Wis. Burial services were July 24 in the Veterans Cemetery in Preston.