Leon Drake

Published 11:15 am Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Leon Drake, known to many as “Jerome,” was born March 15, 1923, as an only child to Rosetta Cooper and Isenburg Drake in Vicksburg.

Leon was raised by his maternal grandparents as his mother died shortly after his birth. He joined Providence Church at an early age and remained there throughout his adult life. While there he served as a Sunday school teacher and deacon. He remained an active member until his death on Friday, June 1, 2012, at River Region Medical Center

On Oct. 13, 1943, Leon married Bertha Hudson. Together, they gave life to and raised seven children: Charles, Leandrew, Betty, Florean, Billy, Mildred and Lois.

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Always a hard worker, Leon was mostly self-employed. A true businessman, he worked as a logger and founded the Drake Garbage Service, which, after 50 years, is still in operation today. He was also publicly employed by Paul Pride Butane Company and Mississippi Action for Progress.

He was preceded in death by his parents; maternal grandparents, Agnes and Nathan Cooper; paternal grandparents, Ellen and Columbus Drake; a daughter, Florean Drake; three sisters, Virginia Drake, Betty Lee Drake and Thelma Drake; one brother, Issac Drake; as well as numerous relatives.

He leaves to cherish his memory and to carry on his legacy a devoted wife of 68 years, Bertha Drake; children, Charles Drake, Leandrew Drake, Billy Drake, Mildred Drake Gilliam and Lois Drake Coleman, all of Vicksburg, and Betty Drake Neal of Memphis; one sister, Eula Drake Berry of Vicksburg; one brother, Leandrew Drake of Niagara Falls, N.Y.; 64 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; as well as self-sacrificing sons- and daughters-in-law and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

He will be greatly missed.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 7, in the chapel of W.H. Jefferson Funeral Home with the Rev. Larry Hudson officiating. Interment will follow at the Providence Cemetery. Visitation will be from 3 until 7 today.