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Francis "Red" Drake

Francis "Red" Drake

Francis "Red" Drake, 79, of Thompson, ND passed away on Sunday, September 10, 2017 at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks, ND after a courageous battle with cancer.

Francis Leonard Drake was born February 14, 1938 in Lakota, ND the son of Alexander and Effie Marie (Swendseid) Drake. He grew up on a farm near Petersburg, ND and later moved with his family to McVille, ND, graduating from McVille High School in 1956. Red enlisted in the United States Air Force on January 29, 1957 at Fargo, ND and served in Air Traffic Control Operations. He was honorably discharged from military service on April 1, 1958 at Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota. He went on to complete Northwest Airlines Mechanics Training School. Red was employed with the Grand Forks Sanitation Department for 38 years, retiring in 2004. Red married Armella "Melly" Newman on June 28, 1991 at Zion Methodist Church in Grand Forks. Even though he lost almost everything in the flood of 1997, Red never lost his sense of humor or his faith. He was a member of Trinity Free Lutheran Church in Grand Forks.

Red will be remembered for his love of coffee and visiting with people and learning their stories. His prized possessions were his 1948 Chevy and his Chevy truck. He loved playing cribbage and 10,000, telling Ole and Lena jokes, riding around in his golf cart at Stump Lake, old country music and reading paperback books. His unconditional love for family and friends will never be forgotten.

He is survived by his wife of 26 years, Melly; daughters, Laurene Garlow, Dickinson, ND and Kyra (Marty) Baker, West Fargo, ND; stepchildren, Adam Newman, Wauwatosa WI, Barry Newman, Minneapolis, MN and Mary (Milton) Booth, McVille, ND; grandchildren, Savannah, Lionel and Alec Garlow, Laurel Booth, Jesse Benham, Cheyenne, Jasmine and Beth Booth, Braeden and Madeleine Newman; a nephew, Mike Moum, Chehalis, WA; cousins and his beloved dog, Snuggles.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Arlene Moum; brother-in-law, Al Moum; aunts, uncles and cousins.

Red's family prefer that memorials be given to Altru Cancer Center, 960 South Columbia Road, Grand Forks, ND 58201 or to Trinity Free Lutheran Church, 3426 Chestnut Street, Grand Forks, ND 58201.

In honor of Red's memory, his family requests that people wear something red at his funeral.

Funeral Service: 4:00 p.m. Sunday, September 17, 2017 in Trinity Free Lutheran Church, 3426 Chestnut Street, Grand Forks, ND.

Visitation: 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Saturday with a 5:00 p.m. prayer service in the Historic Norman Funeral Home-Gregory J. Norman Funeral Chapel. Visitation will continue for one hour prior to the service in the church on Sunday.

Interment: At a later date.

Military Honors: Accorded by members of the American Legion Post 157, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3817 and the Grand Forks Air Force Base Honor Guard.

The online memorial registry may be signed at

(The Historic Norman Funeral Home, Grand Forks, ND)