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Daniel Arthur (Drake) KOVNER


1921 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Daniel Arthur (Drake) KOVNER Obituary
June 15, 1921 - March 1, 2017 A man that truly treasured life embraced his family and made friends with everyone that came into contact with him. Known as Danny by his friends, he told his last corny joke on March 1, 2017 while listening to his huge collection of his beloved jazz music and flirting with his nurses. His most proud achievements were his family and marrying his 2nd wife, the true love of his life Mary Ann Jackson. Born in the Bronx, NY to Wolf & Helen Kovner, he moved with his family at age 5 to Santa Monica, California. He attended Santa Monica High School. Danny, a member of what is known as the "Greatest Generation," joined the Army during World War II in September 1942. He was a member of the US Army 250th Field Artillery Battalion. During the war he was stationed in England and drove through France, Austria and Germany. He stated that the worst day of his life was the day he and his division liberated the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau, Germany. A memory that haunted him all his life. After the war he enrolled in cosmetology school in France and became a hair stylist. A profession he excelled at for over 50 years. Known as "Mr. Drake" to thousands of his customers over the years, he worked at salons in Woodland Hills, CA from 1955 until he retired. In November 1989 The Daily News published a cover article featuring "Mr. Drake." Many of his customers were loyal clients for over 50 years. Mr. Drake became not only his customer's stylist, but also he was part confidant and part therapist. He always told jokes such as "I met a priest in a restaurant who tried - but failed - to guess what kind of work I do for a living. I'm a hair stylist" Mr. Drake told him. "I hear more confessions in a day than you do." Danny was preceded in death by his two hips that were replaced over 10 years ago and they kept him dancing and walking to the end. Danny traveled extensively. A longtime member and supporter the Los Angeles Jazz Society, he loved his music. He was a wonderful dancer along with his wife Maryann. Just last October 2016 he was happily dancing the night away with his granddaughter at her wedding. Daniel is survived by his son Gary Kovner & daughter-in-law Lana Kovner of Bell Canyon, CA, stepdaughter Tracy McCalla of West Hollywood, CA, grandson Russell Kovner and soon to be daughter-in-law Danielle Sturgis of Simi Valley, CA, granddaughter Kristel Francesoni & son-in-law Michael Francesconi of Los Angeles, CA, nieces Paula Levy of Malibu, CA & Mimi Toews of Atascadero, CA, nephew Mitchell Levy of Long Beach, CA, nephews & nieces Jaemi, Richard & Matthew Toews and the Schechter family of Northern CA & Wyoming. Daniel was predeceased by wife Mary Ann Kovner, his parents Wolf & Helen Kovner, son Gregory Kovner, sister Elinor Gershoy & brother-in law Richard Gershoy, half sisters Lola & Margie and half brother Ben Kovner. He was a truly remarkable, kind and sweet man. He made the world a better place because he was in it. We will all miss him deeply but we will also always smile whenever we think of him. A tribute to his life celebration will held on Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 11am, at California Community Church, 30125 Agoura Rd., Agoura Hills, CA 91301.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from Mar. 3 to Mar. 5, 2017
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