Thomas Richard Drake, 81, of Jasper, Ga., passed away at The Retreat in Jasper on April 15, 2021.

Tom “Tippy” was born July 1, 1939, in Syracuse, N.Y., to Thomas Francis Drake and Margaret (Meere) Drake. He was raised in Syracuse and joined the Marine Corps at the age of 17. He was a proud veteran and served in Morocco, North Africa, from 1957 thru 1959. After serving, he returned to Syracuse where he joined the Syracuse Police Department.

Tom worked for Smith Corona, Kardex, Sperry, and Unisys in New York, Ohio and Minnesota. He was the founder of 5R Processors. He retired early from Unisys and he and Jo bought a farm in Catawba, where they lived for 32 years. The farm was their pride and joy, and will always be considered “Home”.

While living in Minnesota he enjoyed camping, fishing and exploring the Northwoods. A favorite time was a houseboat trip with family and friends in Voyageurs National Park. He continued these hobbies after moving to Wisconsin, and at the cabin on Thousand Island Lake in the Michigan Upper Peninsula. A day of fishing off the pontoon was always a special day, rain or shine. Friends stopping by for coffee in the mornings was a favorite time for him at the farm and cabin.

Tom also enjoyed traveling, including a fly-in fishing trip to Canada, winter vacations in Mexico, and several months in 1985 when he and Jo worked in Germany. They traveled and explored Europe along with two of their children, Jodi and Rick.

He and Jo enjoyed watching Syracuse Orange basketball games, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings and especially Green Bay Packers NFL games.

Tom is survived by his wife of 40 years, Jo Ann (Stringer). He is also survived by children, Thomas Drake, Sheila Drake, Joseph Drake, Daniel Drake and Nicole Kavanagh; grandchildren, Brandon Drake, Katie Drake, Emma Drake, Daniel Drake, Taylor Drake, Kinsey Kavanagh and Haley Kavanagh and two great-grandchildren. Other survivors include step-children, Jodi Madaus, Marci Simons and Rick (Karen) Lybeck and step-grandchildren, Joseph Simons, Nora Lybeck, and Klara Lybeck. He is further survived by sister, Mary Kennedy (Jim); sisters-in-law, Judy Carlisle and Jeri Brown, and many nieces and nephews. His nephew Sean described his Uncle Tom in saying he was a charismatic and genuine person. Indeed he was.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Margaret “Peg” LaHart; brother, James (Beanie) Drake; his father- and mother-in-law, Kenny (Irene) Stringer; his brothers-in-law, Thomas Carlisle and Ken Stringer and his sister-in-law, Colleen Stringer.

Because of travel distance and COVID pandemic, there will be no service at this time. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations to Georgia Mountains Hospice in Jasper are appreciated. The family wants to thank Georgia Mountains Hospice and the staff at The Retreat for their loving respectful care.

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