Funeral services for Robert (Bob) L. Drake, 66 year-old Woodward resident, will be at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, June 16, 2011, at the Ft. Supply Gym with Reverend Bill Tindell and Gene Karn officiating. Viewing at the Billings Funeral Home is available on Wednesday all day and Thursday morning, however, the family will be in attendance at the funeral home on Wednesday, June 15 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm for the receiving of friends. Bob will be taking his final motorcycle ride following the service thanks to Ty Conklin from Springfield, MO., Last Ride Motorcycle Hearse Co. "Nice & Loud, One Last Time!" Anyone wanting to ride their bikes with him there will be a designated area at the services to park.
Bob was born on May 18, 1945, in Shattuck, Oklahoma, to Wilbur P. and Zella M. (Benger) Drake. He grew up in the Ft. Supply area where he has spent his entire life. Bob graduated from Ft. Supply High School in 1963. He attended Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Oklahoma, and graduated in 1969 with a degree in Health & Physical Education.
As a young man, he worked on the farm, helped with harvesting, and was active in FFA, baseball, and basketball. While in high school, Bob was honored as an All State Basketball player. After graduating high school, Bob attended NWOSU. He served as Vice President of his freshman class at Northwestern and was attending college on a 4-year basketball scholarship. He also earned the nickname of "Wings" in college because of the way he styled his hair. Through his college years, he was selected All Tournament Team in every tournament in which he was a participant. He would always get into the mix with the roughest and toughest opposing player and never back down. He was the leading rebounder in the Conference and made the All Conference Team. During that era, he was considered the "Face of Ranger Basketball." In 2007, Bob was inducted into the NWOSU Ranger Sports Hall of Fame for his accomplishments.
On June 29, 1968, Bob married Judy Wolgamott at Hardtner, Kansas. After going on wheat harvest with his dad and Harold Wanger, they made their home in Ft. Supply. To this union, two daughters were born, Debbie Rene’ in 1969 and Amy Chalet’ in 1978. Bob and Judy enjoyed many fun times with special friends Bernard and Lois Soliday and Harold and Boots Hughes. Even after their separation, Bob and Judy remained life long friends.
Bob was drafted by the U.S. Army out of his last year of college in 1968 and spent 18 months on tour in Vietnam with the 199th Infantry Brigade. While serving, he received two commendation medals for Meritorious Achievement in support of military operations against communist aggression in the Republic of Vietnam. During that period, he astutely surmounted extreme adverse conditions to obtain the success of the allied effort. While serving, he also received the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and Vietnam Campaign Medal. Bob received an Honorable discharge from the United States Army in 1970.
He loved racing cars and started that by drag racing in high school at local drag strips. He later started racing stock cars at local tracks and soon made a name for himself as "Big Bob" Drake, #16, in the blue car. He traveled many miles with Walt and Darlene Foster next to his side while racing. He operated Crystal Beach Raceways for several years and soon after that built and opened Riverside Raceways northwest of Woodward.
Bob met Cindy Barnes in 2003. Together they enjoyed riding motorcycles, vacationing, and spending time with her son’s Jared, Chris, and Dustin along with family and friends.
Bob was always a hard worker no matter what the cost. While attending college, Bob and Bill Ridings worked as their own roofing company. Bob has spent countless hours playing in the dirt and sand on loaders, in trucks, or in the shop screening and testing materials. He was very knowledgeable when it came to sand, gravel, and precious metals and his advice was requested by many. Through the years, he has had ownership or been employed by Drake Construction, Northwest Gypsum, IST (International Separation Technologies), and Koda Drilling. The most recent venture, with his brother Billy, began in 2005 with RB&J Materials, LLC.
Bob was always willing to lend a hand to those in need and found his real niche when he joined the local NW 69 A.B.A.T.E. Chapter Motorcycle Organization in 2007. In 2008, Bob was elected Chapter President of NW69. Within his first two years as president, he nearly doubled the chapter’s membership to reach over 300 members. He strongly believed in the organization’s cause and told everyone he saw about A.B.A.T.E. He acquired the name "Cookie Monster" because during his first big fund raiser as President, he took an iced cookie to the face that was purchased for several hundred dollars. Bob was looked up to and admired by many in the organization. In January of 2011, Bob received the ABATE of Oklahoma Presidential Award for his dedication and efforts to promote the goals and growth of ABATE of Oklahoma. He was also a member of the Moose Lodge.
In December of 2010, he was diagnosed with colon cancer. He immediately started chemotherapy and radiation followed by surgery to remove the tumor in his colon. Although those days were tough, we all knew he was a survivor and was determined to overcome the cancer. Bob was scheduled to have surgery again on June 24, but God had bigger plans for him. He wrapped his arms around Bob and took him to heaven Sunday morning, June 12, 2011.
Bob was proceeded in death by his parents Wilbur & Zella (Benger) Drake and sister Barbara.
Bob is survived by two daughters, Debbie Stewart and husband Steve of Fargo; Amy Powers and husband Josh of Stillwater; one brother Bill Drake of Fargo; eight grandchildren, Natasha Noreuil-Albert, Nicole Goddard, and Tyler Tune of Fargo; Logan Leding, Lakeley and Kenleigh Powers of Stillwater; Madeline and Isabella Stewart of Anna, Texas; and two great grandchildren, Casi Noreuil and Charity Albert of Fargo; special friend Cindy Barnes and son Jared along with many other family and friends.
The following gentlemen will serve as active pallbearers: Steve Stewart, Josh Powers, Tyler Tune, Cole Drake, Dane Drake, and Jared Barnes. Honorary pallbearers will be Logan Leding, Traylen Drake, and Allen Tune.
Memorials may be made to the Bob Drake Memorial Scholarship Fund with the funeral home accepting the contributions.
Remembrances may be shared online at www.billingsfuneralhomewoodward.com