Ronan, MT - Jo Mae Drake, loving, vivacious, creative, kind and selfless, wife, mother, grandmother and friend, has won her 20-year battle with Dementia and now celebrates her new and eternal life in· heaven with her Savior, Jesus Christ. Jo Mae departed this world on July 30, 2020, age 86.
Born in. Missoula, MT, 9/30/1933, to Blanche and Charles Chase, Jo Mae grew up to become a determined, intelligent, talented and beautiful individual. She loved to learn and throughout her life was an avid reader. She played piano and violin and was a gifted artist. She attended Missoula schools and she was U of M homecoming Queen in 1952. Jo Mae loved nature, and outdoor activities. She had boundless energy and loved to work hard at whatever she did.
Jo Mae attended U of M, and Mayo Clinic, where she studied to become a Physical Therapist, until she married Glen Drake in 1954, a law student at U of M, Missoula. After their marriage they lived in several Montana towns, finally settling in Helena, where Glen practiced law and ultimately became a State Senator. Jo Mae completed her BA from the U of M and began her teaching career in the late 1960's, while raising their young family of seven children. There were always joyous family expeditions into the outdoors, camping, fishing, sledding, ice skating, and fun, music filled family gatherings enhanced by the great food that Jo Mae would make.
Glen and Jo Mae were married for 47 years and their happy home was always filled with love, music, and laughter. But Glen suffered from heart disease, and with Jo Mae faithfully at his side, they battled the disease for nearly 30 years, until his death in 2001.
Jo Mae, now widowed, began a 20-year battle of her own, with ever worsening Dementia. She faced each day of this disease with her characteristic courage and love of life.
Throughout her life, Jo Mae found joy in the moment, in the small things. And she loved to give others joy and to make them laugh. Books, music, sunsets, campfires, pinecones, loons, swimming in ice cold lakes, and chocolate cake--these were a few of her favorite things. She loved to make friends with strangers and to learn their stories, and to share the love of Jesus that overflowed from her heart.
She leaves behind her family of seven children: Leslie Drake-Robinson (Tom), Hamilton; Glen Curtis Drake (Colleen), Helena; Charles “Chuck” Drake (Kathy), Tacoma, WA; Jeffery Drake, Corning, NY; Joel Drake, Seaside, OR; Patricia (Drake) Spurzem, (Curt) Missoula; Carl Drake, (Irma), Missoula; 12 Grandchildren and 5 Great Grandchildren; her brother Norman (Annie) of Portland, OR.
The family is deeply grateful for the loving excellent care Jo Mae received over the past year from the loving staff at Mountain View Care Center in Ronan, MT.
A family memorial gathering will be planned at a later date. Memorials in Jo Mae’s name can be sent to the charity IDEA, a school in the Philippines founded by her nephew, Dennis Drake. Jo Mae volunteered there for 4 months in 2002, organizing the library. Ideadeaf.org
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