Gayle Drake


Gayle Drake, 80, passed away peacefully on January 30th , 2023. Her funeral service will be held  Saturday, March 25th at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Platte SD at 11am. Following the service there  will be a luncheon and a celebration of her life at the Platte community center. A private family burial  service will be held at a later date. Gayle was born on March 26th, 1942, to Douglas and LaVerne Walters in Platte. She graduated from  Platte & was married to Richard “Dick” Johnson in 1960. She was blessed with 4  children, Dawn Shay, Sioux Falls, Terry (Katie) Johnson, Pierre, Rick (Lisa) Johnson, Platte, and Cheri  (Glenn) Eimers. She moved to Mitchell in 1982 and attended DWU until she graduated in 1986 and  began her career in education and administration. She worked for DWU for several years and went on  to attain her Master of Education from USD in 1994. In 1987 Gayle married Donald Drake in Mitchell . She moved to Rapid City where she was working as the director of administration for the Transitional Head start program for many years but wanted to be closer to family. She moved to Pierre and worked in administration at Capital University Center until her retirement. She had an eye for rare treasures and spent many summers “rummaging” with her family.  Her home was filled with neat knickknacks, but her most prized possessions were the smiling faces of  her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren when they’d come to visit, or their display of  photos displayed around her home. She perfected her banana nut bread and lemon poppy seed bread  recipes and usually had a care package of goodies ready & waiting for visitors. Her warm hugs and  radiant smile will be forever cherished and deeply missed. Those forever cherishing her memory are her 4 children, grandchildren Jory & Stazy Shay, Josh  Shay, Jacob & Hailee Johnson, Jackson Johnson, Grace, Ellie, and Addie Johnson, Jazmyn & Austin  Soukup, Whitney Hinker, Casandra & Jamison Kleinsasser, Coledon Eimers & fiancé Brenna Richter and Courtney &  Shane Thiry, her great grandchildren Zayden Shay, Theodore Johnson, Oaklee, Vincent, and Chrishell  Kleinsasser, and Liam Thiry, her brother Ben Walters, cousins, nieces & nephews.  She was received in  heaven with open arms by her parents, her brother Bob Walters, her husband Donald Drake, and her  granddaughter McKenzie Eimers, & a special friend Shelton Schuh. In lieu of flowers please direct memorials to the SD chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association,

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