Cover photo for Jane S. Drake's Obituary
Jane S. Drake Profile Photo
1924 Jane 2017

Jane S. Drake

May 13, 1924 — October 18, 2017

GARDNER -Jane S. Drake, surrounded by family and caring friends, peacefully left this earth and went to be with her husband, Jay on October 18, 2017

Jane was born on May 13, 1924 to parents Laura (Luthans) and William Snell in Clinton, Iowa.  She was a voice major and 1947 graduate of Grinnell College and met her future husband, Jay in Clinton in 1948 where he was working for the DuPont Co.  They were married in Clinton on Dec. 18, 1948 and after their honeymoon skiing in Cable, Wisconsin relocated to Gardner, where Jay joined his father in the family business, the Royal Steam Heater Co.  Jane was warmly welcomed in Gardner and frequently in the company of her sister-in-law Martha, made many, lifelong friends while she and Jay began raising their family.   She was a homemaker during the 50’s 60’s and 70’s, eventually doing payroll and clerical work in the family business once the children were older.  Jane and Jay enjoyed a wonderful social circle, broad civic engagement and were avid skiers, golfers, tennis players and bridge players.  Jane was a tremendous competitor who won her final singles title at Oak Hill CC at the age of 61.  She was also a passionate Boston sports fan and her family has great memories of that passion expressed during Red Sox and Celtics playoff games through the years.   Jane was very active in the 1st Congregational Church of Gardner as a member of the Diaconate and many committees and as the Soloist in the choir for over 50 years.  Her distinctive soprano was recognized by all and duets performed with Porter Dolly were moments treasure, both by the performers and all in attendance.  She served on many civic committees and boards including the Heywood Hospital Aid committee, Baldwinville Nursing Home and PYC trustees. Jane was currently an officer of Lynde Hardware and had been a member of the former Gardner Boat Club and Gardner Chowder Club.

Jane and Jay travelled extensively, frequently with Jane’s sister Maxine and husband Graham.  They enjoyed many years of annual rituals including Harvard-Yale football games with the Mossmans, Squires, Gahans, Cahills, Reeds and Wallaces; summer stays at Monomonock, skiing at
Sugarbush, winter stays in Longboat Key, etc.  All were highlighted by quality time with family and lifelong friends.

Jane was predeceased by her husband Harold E. Drake Jr. (Jay) in 1994, her parents, brother Robert, sister Maxine and their spouses.

Jane is survived by four children, Jay Davis Drake and his wife Celeste of Gardner, Thomas W. Drake and his wife Verena of Lakeville, Ct., Laurie Drake of Gardner and David G. Drake and his wife Sue, also of Gardner; four grandchildren, Elliott of Westminster, Oliver and his fiancée, Shannon of Gardner, Ariella and husband Matt and Thomas and wife Beth, all of Washington, DC.; many nieces and nephews and countless friends.

The Drake family is grateful for the friendship and loving care provided by the French Connection.  Rosella, Barbara, Patty, Faith, Ruby, Cathy, and Charlene are special people for whom Jane cared deeply.

Funeral services will be held in the First Congregational Church , 28 Green Street, Gardner at 11:00 AM, Monday, October 23rd.

Calling hours will be held at Stone-Ladeau Funeral Home, 343 Central Street, Winchendon on Sunday, October 22nd from 1 to 5 PM.

Memorial donations may be made to First Congregational Church, 28 Green Street, Gardner, MA 01440 or to Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Ave, Boston, MA 02215.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jane S. Drake, please visit our flower store.


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