PLAINFIELD - Edgar "Jim" James Drake, Jr., 75, formerly of Plainfield, died Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013, at Linda Manor Extended Care Facility in Northampton, with his family by his side. Jim had been living at Linda Manor for almost a year at the time of his passing.
Born March 4, 1938, in Pittsfield, he was the son of Edgar James Drake, Sr., and Elizabeth "Lindy" Smith Drake. Jim was raised in Dalton, attended Dalton public schools and graduated from Dalton High School in 1956, where he was a member of the varsity football team.
Upon graduating from high school, Jim joined the U.S. Navy
. Once his enlistment ended, he returned home and was briefly employed as a trucker before re-enlisting in the Navy. Once re-enlisted, Jim served seven six-month tours aboard troop ships in the Vietnam War
. One of these tours was spent "in country" aboard a river patrol boat. Jim was stationed in San Diego, Calif., for the majority of his naval career. He retired from the U.S. Navy in 1981 as a chief petty officer after 26 years of service to his country.
Jim married Carolyn Davis, June 8, 1969, at the Village Congregational Church in Cummington. For 12 years they made their home in Chula Vista, Calif., while Jim served in the Navy. Upon his retirement, they returned east and purchased a farm in Plainfield, which they promptly named the "Double D Ranch". They spent the next 30 years at the farm, raising cattle, horses, donkeys, sheep and many other pets. During his retirement, Jim was employed as an electrician, a part-time bus driver, and the wiring inspector for the Town of Plainfield.
Jim will always be remembered as a kind and gentle man who loved his family, friends and animals. He took great pride in his work, whether it was wiring a house or caring for his farm. If he worked with others, he was always quick to give his helpers the credit. He was always ready to help anyone in need and would readily drop what he was doing to help others in an instant. Jim will be dearly missed by his friends, family and cousins.
After 43 years of marriage, Jim was predeceased by his wife Carolyn, last December.
He is survived by his sister-in-law Barbara (Davis) Robb and her husband David as well as his sister-in-law Mary Ellen (Davis) Puntin and her husband Bill. He is also survived by nieces and nephews including Aaron Robb, his wife Lynn and their children Hayden, Lily and Colby; Dana Robb and his wife Heather; Chris Puntin and his son Nicholas; and Beth (Puntin) Ortins, her husband Jimmy and their son Vincent. Jim will be sorely missed by all who were touched by his life.
Jim's family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the staff and caregivers at Linda Manor for providing their time, attention and exceptional care during his final year of life.
A memorial service for Jim will be held Saturday, Dec. 7, at 2 p.m. in the Plainfield Congregational Church. There are no calling hours and burial will be at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the
, 225 North Michigan Ave., Floor 17, Chicago, IL 60601 or The Soldier's Home, 110 Cherry St., Holyoke, MA 01040.
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