Fallen sailor honored by community


By Gary Brock - gbrock@aimmediamidwest.com



The hearse carrying Petty Officer Jacob Daniel Drake passed on Main Street in downtown West Jefferson Tuesday at about 6 p.m., with more than a hundred local residents lining the street to pay respect to the sailor who died Aug. 21 aboard the U.S.S. John McCain near Singapore.


Becky Danglade of West Jefferson stands by the curb on Main Street holding an American flag, waiting for the procession to pass carrying the body of Navy Petty Officer Jacob Daniel Drake.


Margie Jennings and Dustin Ewry brought their entire family with them to downtown West Jefferson Tuesday to pay their respects to Navy Petty Officer Jacob Daniel Drake. Pictured are Jennings and Ewry with their children John, Jordan, Keyon, Kayden, Kacey and Kenton. They are pictured with their sign “Thank you Jacob” and American flags.


A crowd of local residents wait in the rain Tuesday afternoon in downtown West Jefferson for the police procession carry Navy Petty Officer Jacob Daniel Drake to a local funeral home. Despite the rain, more than 100 people line the street to pay respects to the fallen sailor.


Despite a chilly September rain, more than a hundred area residents lined Main Street in downtown West Jefferson Tuesday to honor the memory and service of fallen Navy Petty Officer Jacob Daniel Drake as a police procession led him through town to the Rader-McDonald-Tidd Funeral Home.

Veterans, parents with their children, area law enforcement and residents wishing to pay their respects stood in the rain with American flags waving, some with signs showing their gratitude both for Petty Officer Drake and their country.

“I am here to give my respects to the young man who served our country. I think these young men and woman who are going into the service today are very brave and I am really proud of them. When one of them falls it is really sad,” said Becky Danglade of West Jefferson as she stood by the curb holding an American flag.

She said her husband is retired from the 121st Air National Guard out of Rickenbacker. When she heard that Petty Officer Drake was being brought back for funeral services in West Jefferson and there was going to be a procession though downtown, she said, “To not come here and pay respects? That wouldn’t be right.”

Nearby, Margie Jennings and Dustin Ewry brought their six children to watch the procession and pay their respects. They held flags and made a sign the children made saying, “Thank you Jacob.”

Margie Jennings felt being there was important for her children. “It’s important for them to show their respect, appreciation and gratitude from our entire family to this fallen officer.”

The West Jefferson family operates Midnight Creations downtown. “Normally we close at 5 p.m., but everyone downtown stayed to show their respect.”

Petty Officer Drake served on the U.S.S. John S. McCain for nearly two years before dying Aug. 21 at age 21 when his ship collided with a merchant ship near Singapore. He was one of 10 sailors killed in the collision.

The police procession guided the sailor from the John Glenn International Airport after the body arrived from Singapore.

Petty Officer Drake joined the Navy right after graduating from Triad North High School in North Lewisburg. He was a native of Cable in Champaign County.

According to his obituary, he was posthumously promoted to an Electronics Technician — Petty Officer Second Class. “He enjoyed his time serving to the fullest, and traveled the globe representing the best the United States and Ohio has to offer. Jake was a well known cat enthusiast, and enjoyed visiting Japan’s “Cat Cafes” when in port. He will be fondly remembered as a funny guy who loved life and he never had a problem making friends wherever he went,” it read.

Petty Officer Drake is preceded in death by his paternal grandparents Ronald and Bonnie Drake and uncles Steve Drake and Danny Kelly. He is survived by parents, Suzanna and Ronald Drake; sister, Veronica Drake; fiance, Megan Partlow; grandmother, Teresa McGhee; great-grandmother, Bonnie Riebel; aunts and uncles, Rob (Tammy) Drake, Lori Drake, Lisa Boyer, and Shelly Kelly; close cousins, Brandie (Gary), Erin, Trevor, Nick, Melody (Devon), Tyler and Trystyn; numerous other family members and countless friends.

Public visitation will be Saturday, Sept. 16, from 10 a.m. until time of funeral service and military honors at 2 p.m. at the Rader-McDonald-Tidd Funeral Home, 1355 W. Main St. in West Jefferson. In order to honor Jake’s love of animals, his family encourages in lieu of flowers, a memorial contribution be made to a local animal shelter or rescue of your choice.

The hearse carrying Petty Officer Jacob Daniel Drake passed on Main Street in downtown West Jefferson Tuesday at about 6 p.m., with more than a hundred local residents lining the street to pay respect to the sailor who died Aug. 21 aboard the U.S.S. John McCain near Singapore.
http://www.madison-press.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2017/09/web1_Hearsepiccol-2.jpgThe hearse carrying Petty Officer Jacob Daniel Drake passed on Main Street in downtown West Jefferson Tuesday at about 6 p.m., with more than a hundred local residents lining the street to pay respect to the sailor who died Aug. 21 aboard the U.S.S. John McCain near Singapore.

Becky Danglade of West Jefferson stands by the curb on Main Street holding an American flag, waiting for the procession to pass carrying the body of Navy Petty Officer Jacob Daniel Drake.
http://www.madison-press.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2017/09/web1_Holdingflagpiccol-2.jpgBecky Danglade of West Jefferson stands by the curb on Main Street holding an American flag, waiting for the procession to pass carrying the body of Navy Petty Officer Jacob Daniel Drake.

Margie Jennings and Dustin Ewry brought their entire family with them to downtown West Jefferson Tuesday to pay their respects to Navy Petty Officer Jacob Daniel Drake. Pictured are Jennings and Ewry with their children John, Jordan, Keyon, Kayden, Kacey and Kenton. They are pictured with their sign “Thank you Jacob” and American flags.
http://www.madison-press.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2017/09/web1_HoldingJacobsignpiccol-2.jpgMargie Jennings and Dustin Ewry brought their entire family with them to downtown West Jefferson Tuesday to pay their respects to Navy Petty Officer Jacob Daniel Drake. Pictured are Jennings and Ewry with their children John, Jordan, Keyon, Kayden, Kacey and Kenton. They are pictured with their sign “Thank you Jacob” and American flags.

A crowd of local residents wait in the rain Tuesday afternoon in downtown West Jefferson for the police procession carry Navy Petty Officer Jacob Daniel Drake to a local funeral home. Despite the rain, more than 100 people line the street to pay respects to the fallen sailor.
http://www.madison-press.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/37/2017/09/web1_Waitingonhearsepiccol-2.jpgA crowd of local residents wait in the rain Tuesday afternoon in downtown West Jefferson for the police procession carry Navy Petty Officer Jacob Daniel Drake to a local funeral home. Despite the rain, more than 100 people line the street to pay respects to the fallen sailor.

By Gary Brock

gbrock@aimmediamidwest.com

Reach General Manager/Editor Gary Brock at 937-556-5759.

Reach General Manager/Editor Gary Brock at 937-556-5759.