Melvyn (Mel) Richard Drake, 69, of Cortland, NY, passed away after a brief illness on October 13, 2021. Mel was a resident of Cortland, and also lived in Utah for several years.
Mel was a life-long learner and attended Utah State, Tompkins Cortland Community College, and Binghamton University. His greatest passions in life were music and teaching. He started teaching guitar lessons at the Cortland Youth Center, and went on to open Studio 2 Music, and then taught music and chorus at TC3. Mel wanted to share his love of music. He would teach any student willing to practice, and often helped to furnish students with instruments. Mel was also an avid performer, and was in many bands over the years, most recently Tanglewood with dear friends. Playing guitar side by side with his sons was one of Mel’s greatest joys.
A favorite past time of the Drake family was camping and fishing at Bowman Lake together. Mel also had a green thumb and loved to garden.
Mel is survived by his children: Travis (Lauren) Drake, Jared (Jennifer Dineen) Drake, Ryan (Shyanne Patriarco) Drake, and Rebecca (Russ) Eagle; his brother Milton (Carla) Drake; grandchildren Raymond Burroughs, Kendrin, Evan, Dillon, Lucian, and Jameson Drake, and many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends.
Mel was predeceased by his constant companion and loving wife, Theresa Tobin Drake, his brother Marvin Drake, and parents Frederick and Mary Douglass Drake.
Calling hours will be Saturday, October 23, 2021, from 1-3:30 pm, with a celebration of life to begin at 3:30, where family and friends will be allowed to share a memory or story at Wright-Beard Funeral Home Inc, 9 Lincoln Ave, Cortland, NY. There will be a gathering immediately following at the Cortland Elks Lodge.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Cortland Youth Bureau Music Fund, 35 Port Watson St, Cortland, NY.
To leave a condolence or view the celebration via live stream visit www.wright-beard.com
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