Oct 25, 2017
Long-time Guerneville resident. Called the “rifle man” referring to his resemblance to Chuck Connors. An avid hunter, he enjoyed bagging deer as well as an occasional elk.
As a young teenager, helped his father and brother grade a road on the east side of the Russian River with a horse-drawn road grader. Road later named Drake Rd. He obtained lots of mechanical expertise during his teen years helping his dad on the ranch.
Graduated Analy High School , where he fell in love with a “Down-Easter” Lorna Wise when she transferred in for her senior year.
Practical joker in the town of Guerneville with the help of his friends – also to his parents. He and his brother Charles decided to disassemble and reassemble a tractor on top of a stump in the orchard. He and his friends would race across the mudflats of Bodega Bay with his Model T. He played trumpet at Analy dances and at Guerneville events.
Enrolled in the Marine Corps in 1946. Returned home in 1948 to marry and take over the home ranch, turning down an offer by Chevron to take a career job in Brazil.
Cultivated prunes, doing his own dehydration of the fruit – a 24/7 job – then replaced the prunes with apples as the prune trees developed “sour sap”, or bacterial canker.
Raised a family then entered public service as a Rotarian, culminating in his presidency in said organization in 1972-1974, all the while farming the ranch. Sold the ranch in 1992 and moved onto a smaller ranch, remodeling the house, staying active in apple farming and Rotary until he could no longer go to the meetings.
He is survived by former wife Lorna Drake, his daughters Donna Hines and Holly Robinson as well as three grandchildren and two great grandchildren.
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