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JAMES HARVEY DRAKE 1950 - 2013
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August 14, 2015
Miss you today. it's nice to read all of these peoples kind words about you & see how you impacted so many lives. I wish I could gather them all up to hear them tell stories & talk about you again. You are still the brightest light in my life.
January 01, 2014
I just loved Jim Drake. He was the smartest, kindest, most true individual I ever met. I will never forget him. My prayers to his family.
December 22, 2013
Dec 22 2013
Jim was an angel on earth.
My regret is losing the opportunity to speak with him one last time before his sudden passing.
I know him best through Harvey Kalef/Atelier America/Brushstrokes days and our meetings in Palm Springs with Jim, Hasting and Patterson. He glowed when speaking of his family. Even the cat...he said 'did you know it does this dance on me?' He saw beauty everywhere.
December 09, 2013
To the family of Jimmy Drake - Pete Clark just let me know about his passing. Please accept my heartfelt condolence in this time of sorrow.
We grew up together on Brandon Road in the 60's. I lived 5 houses down the street. We shot pool together at the Estes home on the corner. We played pinball together on his machine. We terrorized the neighborhood in the Grasslands with Johnny Watkins. We played basketball together and our parents carpooled to Jeff Junior high school out of town basketball games along with John Graham. As you know better than I do, Jimmy is a great guy. I use the present tense because he when I think of him, he will always be in the present tense. Calling for the ball on the court, smoothly sinking the perfect 10ft jump shot, making a free game with his smooth pinball shot and smoothly running around the grasslands backyards being chased by Danny Schuppan, Wilson Beckett, Bruce Garrett, Jeff Glenn, Richard Brownlee or Rusty Chambers. He was always in a good mood, happy to see you, up for a good laugh and a good time. He was kind to everybody he met. His smile was smooth and infectious. I think I will just call him "Mr Smooth with an extra helping of laughter". As it has already been said he will be missed dearly but he will be remembered more. He was just that type of guy. It would be a better world if everyone was like Jimmy Drake. The world dimmed its lights a bit when he passed but they will brighten back up. Jimmy Drake knew how to live in the world and love. That would be the way he wanted it I think. May good bless and give comfort to the family of Jimmy Drake. I have joy in the blessing of knowing him when we were young and innocent. Well, I guess that's all I have to say.
Donald C Patterson. MD
December 02, 2013
miss you Poppi, love you forever and ever and always. Every single day.
November 29, 2013
Haven't seen Jimmy in 40 years, the photo looks just the same as before. Sounds like he really became a witness for God and turned his life into something really positive. Wish I'd been able to see him over the years, but it seemed like he wasn't in Columbia all that often. Good guy-always was, and will be remembered here fondly. Scott Bess
November 27, 2013
I worked with Jim at Brushstrokes. There are certain people that just stand out in a crowd. jim's smile and demeanor set him apart. He was the nicest, kindest person that Ive ever had the pleasure of knowing. This world lost a treasure.
November 27, 2013
"jimmy D ...a true blessing to anyone he encountered..." Debbie and family, this tribute was from Mike Dunne, a true fan and friend of Jim Drake. We both have fond and vivid memories of times we shared. The memories are always accompanied by a smile and a laugh. Jim know how to light up a room. And even though his candle has gone out in this temporary world, there is a bonfire happening in heaven. Love to you all, especially through this holiday season.
November 26, 2013
You will be Missed Dearly!
November 26, 2013
I did not have the honor of meeting Jim knew his daughter Katie well, all that I have read here gives me some insight of the man he stood for and he stood very well. I also understand he was a man after Gods own Heart and now together in eternity, your Family will always Miss your presence of being here with them!!!
November 23, 2013
Tribute To Jim At His Celebration Service,
Over the course of the last 25+ years I have had the privilege and great honor to interact with Jim in various roles. From Brother in Christ, to co-adventurer, to business associate, to co-worker, and to boss. The relationships that I most treasure though are…. those of mentor and beloved friend.
You see Jim had a unique gift to impact and change those around him. Many of us who are sitting here today are a testament of that impact and change. Jim certainly impacted me and changed me.
First of all ---Jim changed me by teaching me a new language. This new language as many know, is called “Drakeisms” or to some “ Drakonian Quacking”. The Ensemble Company where I worked for Jim for several years was a subsidiary of Hallmark Cards. Under Jim's leadership Ensemble grew and was known for its product innovation, creativity, and ability to deliver products to market in very compressed timeframes. Our abilities and capabilities where admired by many in the industry. As one can imagine, in this fast paced environment, problems surfaced and questions were asked from corporate about our market strategy and direction.
One of Jim's many roles as President of Ensemble was to run this interference from the “Mother Ship” or “The Beast”. For those that have not been fully trained in the art of “Drakonian Quaking” the translation for the “Mother Ship” and “The Beast” meant Hallmark Corporate. As Jim put it, “The Bureauds” were wanting to “niggle” in the operations of the company. Jim classified these interferences from the “Mother Ship” depending upon the level of intensity. If it was a mild issue, Jim would label it as a ‘flail dogger'. Jim could always take care of all stray ‘flail dogger” issues. If the intensity of the situation increased, Jim would heighten the level of concern to “flail-o-rama”. The “flail-o-rama” meant that the problem could not be quickly solved and that he may be tied up for a while…..but for the Senior Management Team, we were to continue on as normal. On a few occasions Jim would label interference from the Mother Ship as a “Cluster Flail” and in some really severe cases a “ Major Cluster Flail” The Drakeism definition for “Major Cluster Flail” meant that all hands were to be on deck and ready to defend and support our efforts on multiple fronts. And so we did. Jim's constant reminder and encouragement through our all our victories and challenges at Ensemble was to always…. put the “Fun” Back into Dysfunctional.
The second area where Jim changed me was in my ability of being creativity and to dream bigger, think deeper, and to explore endless possibilities. Jim was never limited by boundaries. He always encouraged and challenged me to expand my horizons, whether that was in my professional world, family life, or on my Journey with Christ. It was always about the journey not the destination. It was about the discovery. It was always about the “A HA” moments.
Jim also taught me to laugh and to live in the moment. We all have stories of Jim. One of my favorite stories about Jim involves two words. Cigars and Convertibles. Jim and I with a group of other buddies would often ride bikes on trails either in Lawrence or Blue River. Well on this particular Sunday morning before church it was just the two of us that could make it. We were coming to the end our ride for the day when Jim decided to go through huge 20 foot mud puddle versus going around it. Well to much of Jim's amazement, the entry into the puddle was not a gradual one as he thought, but was an immediate drop off. Jim immediately flipped over the handle bars and as a result every part of his being was covered in mud. Literally from head to toe --- mud on his face and all over his clothes. We got back to the car and Jim stripped down to just his boxer shorts. Being the introvert that I am, I expected Jim to be a little more discrete on the drive back to my house. You see though to not live in the moment would be out of Jim's nature. So with only boxer shorts on, convertible top down, lit cigars in mouth, Jim and I drove down 435 as those passing laughed in amazement. Jim changed me because he challenged me to live in the moment.
Jim changed me because he had a heart for all those he came in contact with. I think all of us would agree that Jim never made it about himself. It was always about you, it was always about others. The most important person in the world to Jim was always …. You….
Lastly Jim changed me in my walk with Christ. He challenged me to plunge into God's Awesomeness, Great Love and Heart for us, and to explore His Majesty through his Unfathomable Creation. For Jim it was about the journey. And I thank Jim for having the heart for me.... to invite me to join him in this Journey.
Dale Kirby
November 23, 2013
Unlike most of us corporate types, he left no debris in his wake.
November 23, 2013
My late husband was a fraternity brother of Jim's. They reconnected at the Lake several year's ago. Steve thought Jim was a "class guy" and enjoyed their time together. Hopefully, they're enjoying some laughs together now. So sorry for your early loss-those are the hardest.
Jamie Rankin
November 23, 2013
A friend with a smile and a genuine, caring soul. He was a delight whether at work or leisure. It was a gift to have known him. Our prayers to his family!
November 23, 2013
jimmy D ...a true blessing to anyone he encountered. You did not need a lot of time with Jim to know....This guy is different, special - he makes me feel good. A poet, philosopher, seeker of knowledge and understanding, not for personal gain - but to amplify the glory of God! His constant hunger to commune with his Father, is now realized. Trust me, he is dancing up a storm - blazing new understandings - singing and shouting praise. His hope - that we would embrace our inner self and ...do the same!
November 23, 2013
I worked with Jim for a very short while at one of his post Hallmark business adventures. He showed a lot of confidence in me, and treated me as an equal, even though his experience both in life and business was well beyond mine. We traveled together a few times and it was a joy to hear him recall his life experiences ... he truly "Lived" his life well. I will also always remember him as a true gentleman.
November 22, 2013
I was sorry to hear of Jim's passing and your loss. I worked with Jim at Hallmark 18 years ago and he has remained in my memory. He was genuine about his faith, committed to his family and was sincerely interested in each person he met. He was a unique combination of a nice guy and smart business person. That balance is rare in the world today. I will miss him.
November 22, 2013
When I think of Jim I find words like 'man of God', thoughtful,, deep thinker, enthusiastic, humble, entrepreneur, fun loving, father, husband and connected - to God and so many friends. His passing is a great loss for those who love him. But he left us with his love and his profound insights into life, love and even death.
November 22, 2013
So sorry, Debbie, Katie, Justin, Becca, Abby, for the loss of such a wonderful man. Such a life well-lived!! Such a sweet man, always encouraging and validating everyone's endeavors and dreams. He will be missed.
Vicki Nagel
November 22, 2013
I knew Jim from Hallmark and he was always smiling. He will be missed here on earth but his spirit will always be with us. Much sympathy to the family.
November 21, 2013
My heart is sad today as I heard the news about Jim. I worked for him at The Ensemble Company and I so enjoyed my time there. He had such a kind heart and was just a lovely person. He will be missed.
November 21, 2013
My heart goes out to Jim's family. I was blessed by having Jim as my boss many years ago at Hallmark, where I still work. I learned a lot from him, yet what I remember the most was his kindness. When my dad went to heaven one of the most touching cards I received was from Jim, with a paragraph of his words that were so kind and heartfelt. I still have that card today, from ~20 years ago.
November 21, 2013
My husband and I were so lucky to know Jim. I had an opportunity to work with him for a brief moment. And what a moment it was! He was the kindest most sincere person I've ever known. I wish I was able to be as eloquent as Jim would have been when telling his family how deeply sorry we are for your loss. We were all so lucky to have him for the moments we had. He will forever be a wonderful memory.
November 21, 2013
What a wonderful obituary for a wonderful man, a man of God, and a dear and respected fraternity brother. Words cannot describe how much you will be missed by so many. We will miss you Jim, but you will never be forgotten. I look forward to seeing you again in the future in the home of Our Creator.

Tom Aylward (Torso)
November 21, 2013
So sorry for your loss. Jim was a great boss and friend. I work with Jim at Hallmark and 5 years at Ensemble which were the best!! I know he is in the presence of the Lord. What a wonderful witness!!
Terri Elkins
November 21, 2013
I knew Jim from Hallmark. This candle is for his family.You are in my thoughts and prayers. He was a gentle soul.
November 21, 2013
An amazing marketer and force for good in this sometimes nutty world. Jim will be missed by all of us who were lucky enough to know him.
November 21, 2013
I knew Jim from Hallmark. Our paths only crossed for a short time but his impact has lasted decades. I'm very sorry for your loss.
November 21, 2013
No greater man has graced my life, a soul mate, a person who shared his stories and always listened intently to mine, stories of our spiritual journeys, God's inevitable grace in time both of great difficulty and in times of immense joy and happiness, His miracles daily which we both understood were never circumstantial or to be second guessed. Each time we met we recanted the immense blessings we have in this life, our beautiful families, our dogs and cats, our friends and of course each other. I am proud to have called you my brother in Christ and so loved by Him are we both in spite of all of our shortcomings.
I will remain saddened, dark and in shambles over your departure but realize the schakles of this world are no more for you only Gods loving embrace and peace now surround you. In a selfish way, I will miss our random ramblings and aimless conversations but will forever wait with hope in my heart and look to the day we will continue our conversations to the end of age. Sadly I will miss our ending hugs and farewells the most. God bless you my friend and brother…Jefferson
November 21, 2013
Knew Jim for a short time...a "stand up" gentleman...glad we met and will remember the great times on the golf course!!!
November 21, 2013
he was the best dad and friend a girl could ever ask for. I miss him already. love you daddy, always and forever. xoxo
November 21, 2013
Deepest sympathies from someone who remembers jim's shining smile from Hallmark days.
November 21, 2013
Special man, special friend....what a hole his passing leaves in so many hearts and lives. May the Lord comfort and strengthen his beloved family and all who knew him.
November 21, 2013
We are all shocked and saddened by the news of Jims passing, he was loved and held in high esteem by the entire Kalef family.
We will miss him ,
Our best thoughts and wishes to the Drake family,
Mark Kalef
November 21, 2013
I only got to work with Jim on a couple of small projects at Hallmark, but he was always a memorable figure. I send my warm condolences to the family.
November 21, 2013
I had the pleasure of working for him at the Ensemble Company. Jim was a very sincere well liked man. Jim made everyone feel as if they were someone very special. My heart is heavy to hear of his loss. My sympathy goes out to his family.
November 21, 2013
We are saddened to learn of the passing of Jim, but very grateful to him for his service to our country in the Peace Corps.

Our condolences,

The National Peace Corps Association
November 21, 2013
I just saw Jim by chance last month when I was in Lawrence at the Mother Earth News Fair. I was hosting a workshop, and met a lovely young lady who said her dad used to work for Hallmark. It was Jim's daughter Abbegale. He later stopped by, and we had a great time catching up. I worked with him at Ensemble. Such a loss.
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