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The life given us by nature is short, but the memory of a life well spent is eternal. -Cicero
Michael Leo Drake, 66, of Oregon, WI, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 9, 2024, at UW Health: University of Wisconsin Hospital with his wife Mary by his side. Mike was born July 16, 1957, in Prairie du Chien, WI, to Virgil and Phyllis Drake. He grew up on a farm in rural Gays Mills, WI, and graduated from North Crawford High School in 1975. He attended Southwest Technical College for mechanics and later lineman school at Moraine Park Technical College in Beaver Dam. Mike was employed as a lineman by Madison Gas & Electric for 32 years until his retirement in May 2019. On October 11, 1997, Mike married Mary Huber and moved to Oregon, WI, where he and Mary lived with their two children, Connor (24) and Karina (16). Mike valued growing up and working on the family farm, and most recently in October, he revisited his days on the farm when he spent two full, cherished days combining corn with lifelong friends. Mike celebrated his family and friends, spending time on the farm, UTVing, and camping. Additionally, Mike found tremendous joy in family trips to National and State Parks, and he took great pride in his role as navigator and driver for their family adventures. Mike was also an avid sports fan and took pleasure in coaching, or yelling, at his favorite teams. He was a passionate reader and loved movies, strong affections that he has passed onto his children. Mike will always be remembered for his quick wit and storytelling, his loyal friendship, and his deep love for his family and friends. Mike is survived by his wife Mary and two children, Connor and Karina of Oregon; his siblings: Theresa (Robert) Ludlow, Glenview, IL; John (Lori), Charlotte, NC; and Jim (Kelly), Green Bay, WI. He is further survived by his nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, and many friends whom he considered family. Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Virgil and Phyllis Drake. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 12:00 noon on Friday, January 26, 2024, at St. Philip Catholic Church, Rolling Ground, WI, with Father Tom Huff officiating. Prior to the funeral mass, family and friends are invited to the Gays Mills Community Center in Gays Mills, WI, from 8:30 to 11:00 AM for coffee and Mike’s favorite donuts from Cakery & Bake Shop of Viroqua. To honor Mike’s legacy and his gift for detailing a great story, there will be no formal receiving line. Rather, this celebration of life will be an opportunity for those who wish to share a short eulogy as we reminisce, remember, and cherish a treasured friend. The family requests no flowers or remembrance gifts. Memorials will be used to promote local literacy and reading programs in schools, hospitals, and educational institutions to honor Mike’s lifelong love of reading. The Kendall Funeral Service in Boscobel is assisting the family. Online condolences can be sent to www.kendallfuneralservice.com
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