Graveside ServiceFort Sam Houston National Cemetery
San Antonio, Texas 78209
George Wilson Drake, Jr. (Lt. Col. USAF, Retired) departed his life on Earth on
15 November 2021 in San Antonio, Texas, after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease. He was born on 29 November 1937 in Houston, Texas, and lived there until joining the Air Force on 1 September 1960. George met his wife, Glenda Harriet Fuller, in 1956, and they were married in Houston on 21 August 1958.
George was predeceased by his parents, George Wilson Drake and Jewel Golda (Burns) Drake and is survived by his wife, Glenda; sister, Helen Marie Hartman and husband Richard; two sons, Kenneth Alan Drake and his wife Diane, and Michael James Drake and his wife Kimberly; two daughters, Kathryn Dawn Van Der Linden and her husband Russell, and Marion Janelle Quinn and her husband Robert; fifteen grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
George attended Henderson Elementary School, Stonewall Jackson Junior High School, Stephen F. Austin High School and the University of Houston where he graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1960. While he was in the Air Force, he completed a Master’s Degree in Personnel Management from Webster College.
Upon entering the Air Force in 1960, George attended Officer Training School at Lackland AFB and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in December 1960. He then attended Aircraft Maintenance Officer School at Chanute AFB and was assigned to Randolph AFB, Texas, to work in the T-38 Category III Test Program. While in this job, he applied for flight training, was accepted, and was then assigned to Undergraduate Pilot Training at Webb AFB, Texas. There he received his pilot wings in April 1963. He spent the rest of his 27-year Air Force career in flying/flying related jobs until he retired in September 1987. He continued his love of flying when he was hired at American Airlines as a pilot, where he enjoyed his career until retiring in November 1997. While in the Air Force, George flew T-37s, T-38s, C-124s, C-141s and T-39s. As a civilian pilot with American, he flew Boeing 727s, DC-10s and MD-80s.
George enjoyed numerous hobbies including reading, flying model airplanes, camping, hunting and fishing, roller blading, boating, bicycling, and solving crossword and Sudoku puzzles. Some of his best adventures with his family included camping with Glenda in their ALiner camper, flying model airplanes with his son Kenneth (also a former C141 pilot), riding his bike as part of the Air Force cycling team in the “Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa” (RAGBRAI) at the age of 63 with his daughter Marion, and also cycling with his son Michael in the “MS 150 Bike to the Beach” at the age of 62 and the “Hotter’N Hell Hundred” at the age of 63. He also participated in several other rides and was able to participate by a bike-riding exercise regimen on his tandem recumbent bike with Roy Fuller as his “co-pilot”.
He was well known by family and friends for his dry sense of humor, calm demeanor, gentle nature, and some of the best quotes.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to the Bracken United Methodist Church, San Antonio, Texas, or to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
A Graveside Service will be held at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery - Shelter 5- on 8 December 2021 at 10:45AM - Followed by a reception at the Bracken United Methodist Church.