Alumni eNewsletter: Race Fred Drake, Sr., '38, last living member of Gallaudet's legendary 1934 football team, passes away (Archives)

Photo: A referee, two men, and a football player call a coin toss
Race Drake, Sr., '38, calls "heads" in the coin toss at the 2009 Homecoming football game. Drake was a member of the football team in 1934, the year of the first Homecoming, and came back to campus to celebrate the 75th anniversary of that Gallaudet tradition. Photo by Benjamin Harden.
Alumni Race Drake, Sr.

Race F. Drake, Sr., 98, passed away peacefully at Moultrie Creek Nursing Home in St. Augustine, Fla. on February 16.

Race was born in Fayetteville, Ark. and resided in Little Rock, Ark. until 2000 when he moved to St. Augustine. He graduated from the Arkansas School for the Deaf in 1933 and Gallaudet University in 1938.

In 1933, Race became the first student at the Arkansas School for the Deaf to attain the Boy Scouts of America's Eagle rank. He was a printer at the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock for almost 40 years. He received a Lifetime Award from the Arkansas Association of the Deaf in 2007 for his many years of service, dedication, and contributions to the organization.

Race was 116th of the 7,825-member Gallaudet University Alumni Association. He also was a member of Kappa Gamma Fraternity.

Race excelled as an athlete, mainly in football and basketball. He was inducted into the halls of fame at the Arkansas School for the Deaf, the Southwest Athletic Association of the Deaf, and Gallaudet University.

In 2009, Race was honored at Gallaudet's 75th Anniversary Homecoming as the last living member of the Bison football team that competed in Gallaudet's first Homecoming game in 1934. He was made an honorary captain of the Bison football team at the 2009 Homecoming game, flipping the coin at the start of the match. During the weekend, he received a football jersey and an Alumni Emeriti Club medallion--both of which were buried with him. Please click the link for the interview about his visit to Gallaudet in 2009.

Race was preceded in death by his wife, Lorene. He is survived by his children, Race F. Drake, Jr., '63 & G-'64 (Jean, E-'68), of Staunton, Va., and Donna F. Drake, '69 & G-'71, of St. Augustine; two grandchildren, Darrell R. Drake, '93 (Abigail, '97 & G-'99), of Washington, D.C., and Pamela D. Wayne (Chris) of Fredericksburg, Va.; and one great-grandson, Jackson M. Wayne of Fredericksburg.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Race's memory can be made to: The Alumni House Maintenance Fund, Gallaudet University Development Office, 800 Florida Ave., NE, Washington, DC 20002, or the ASD Museum, Arkansas School for the Deaf, 2400 West Markham, P.O. Box 3811, Little Rock, AR 72203.

Posted: 14 Mar 2012

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