DRAKE, John E., Rev. 1869-1949
Posted By: Tammy (email)
Date: 10/27/2016 at 21:20:21
Rev. J. E. Drake Dies After Stroke At His Home
Suffered Cerebral Hemorrhage Saturday Evening; Died Tuesday Evening. Was 80 Years Old.
Rev. J. E. Drake, who had served as pastor for more than a half century, died at his home in Cedar Falls at seven o'clock Tuesday evening. He was stricken with cerebral hemorrhage at his home Saturday evening. The stroke came without warning and kept the stricken pastor unconscious until the end came. He had been in good health up to the time he was stricken. He was 80 years old last January.
Rev. Drake retired as pastor of the Colfax Presbyterian church in 1935 after having served the congregation of that church continually for 35 years. He held the post as pastor of that church longer than any other pastor in central Iowa. Following his active retirement he became pastor emeritus of that church. He submitted his resignation as pastor in 1934 but remained until the church had secured a successor who is Rev. George Swalve, present pastor of the church, the following year.
During his 35 years pastorate of one church there was a steady growth of membership and it was advanced to the position of one of the outstanding rural churches in Iowa. No pastor ever had a more devoted following than did Rev. Drake during the many years that he ministered to his growing flock and the good that came from his ministrations is beyond measure.
The news of this beloved pastor's death is being received with the deepest reverence and regret throughout Grundy county where his many years' service is still fresh in the minds of all who ever came in contact with him.
John E. Drake was born on a farm near Baileyville, Ill., Jan. 23, 1869, and he grew up there and attended rural school. After finishing his studies in his home school he had decided to choose the ministry as a life work and entered as a student in the University of Dubuque and seminary. After receiving his degree at the Dubuque University he spent a year in advanced study in Germany.
Married Shortly After Graduation
Rev. J. E. Drake and Minnie Loetcher from Dubuque were married shortly after his return from Germany and during the years 1893 to 1899 he was engaged in pioneer missionary work which consisted of helping to establish churches of his denomination in the central west. He continued in this work until he accepted the call to become pastor of the Presbyterian church in Colfax township.
Rev. Drake during his long ministerial career, held outstanding positions in his Presbytery and in the Synod of the West. He served several years as chairman of the Synod and also was a life member of the Board of Directors at the University of Dubuque. He was stated clerk of the Waukon Presbytery for twenty-five years. Since leaving his charge in Colfax township he was a member of the retired ministerial Association at Cedar Falls.
Since retiring an active pastorate he has made his home in Cedar Falls. From there he has responded to frequent calls to fill vacant pulpits for one or more Sunday services. He often returned to his former pulpit in Colfax township and to others in nearby churches.
Family Will Establish Memorial
Surviving members of the Drake family will establish a memorial for students at the Dubuque Presbyterian seminary.
Mrs. Drake, a loving and devoted wife and mother, died in 1940. Since that time Rev. Drake's widowed daughter, Mrs. Lillian Eitzman, maintained his home for him at Cedar Falls. The oldest son Rev. Arthur Drake, died two years ago in Dubuque. Surviving members of the family are Mrs. Eitzman, Mrs. Esther Primus, Denver, Dr. John C. Drake, Anderson, Indiana, Edgar, who is engaged in YMCA work in Eagle Rock, California, Mrs. Edna Marchant, Cedar Rapids. There are 15 grandchildren. A daughter died in infancy. There is one surviving sister, Mrs. Minnie Brockmeier, of Freeport, Ill.
Funeral Services Friday
Funeral services will be at the Colfax Presbyterian church, beginning at two o'clock on Friday. Dr. K. J. Stratmeier, a long time friend of the deceased pastor, will deliver the address. Other ministers will assist at the service. Burial will be at the side of the wife in the cemetery adjoining the Colfax church where Rev. Drake officiated at so many burial services during most of his active lifetime.
--The Grundy Register (Grundy Center, Iowa), 8 December 1949, pg 1, 7
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