Meadville Tribune

Obituaries (Archives)

April 6, 2013

Philip A. Drake

CAMBRIDGE SPRINGS — Philip A. Drake, 96, longtime resident of Cambridge Springs, went home to be united with the Lord Jesus and his loved ones, especially his son, Paul, on Saturday, April 6, 2013, at Rolling Fields, Conneautville.

Born in Monongahela on May 2, 1916, Philip was a son of the late Fred S. Drake and Lucile Gates Drake.

His family lived in Cambridge Springs early on and, as an adventurous lad, loved to hunt and trap along French Creek and caddie at the Riverside Golf Course .

Philip graduated from Cambridge Springs High School with the Class of 1934. It was in school that he met the love of his life, Mabel Humes, and they were married June 23, 1936.

Prior to his marriage he joined the Civilian Conservation Corp and worked in the Kinzua Dam area building roads.

After his marriage, Phil attended Alliance College in Cambridge Springs where he studied drafting. He continued his education at Nyack Institute, Nyack, N.Y. and while there worked at a bakery and a pharmaceutical company and sold Stanley Products.

He developed a keen interest in plastic manufacturing and he and his wife started a small store known as Drake’s Plastic Specialties.

After receiving a bachelor of theology degree, he returned to reside in the Meadville area.

Philip was employed by Talon, Inc. as a draftsman checker and also taught evening drafting courses to many young tool and die apprentices.

He and his wife started Drake’s Flowers and Tropical Fish, a store which they operated from their home. 

Phil then moved to Rochester, N.Y. where he accepted a position with Xerox, Corp. While there, he and his wife developed an interest in ceramics and opened a ceramic store where they made and taught ceramics.

Making their final home in Cambridge Springs, Phil and Mabel started and operated a similar store, Drake’s Ceramics, for several years before retiring a second time.

Phil was blessed with musical talent and played trumpet, trombone, violin and guitar. He became well known in the area for playing the musical saw. The family believes that Phil is now playing in heaven with great joy.

Surviving Philip in addition to his wife, Mabel, are three daughters, Elaine Lang and her husband, Milton, of Meadville, Diane Ellis and her husband, George, of Cochranville, and Pamela Blough of Ft. Meyers, Fla.; two sons, Maurice Drake and his wife, Gail, of Grand Junction, Colo., and Rev. Stephen Drake and his wife, Debbie, of Windsor, Va.; a daughter-in-law, Jeanette Drake; 14 grandchildren; many great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Preceding Phil in death, in addition to his parents, was a son, Paul, who died in 2005, and a son-in-law, Rev. Duane Blough.

Friends may call at the Van Matre Family Funeral Home in Cambridge Springs on Tuesday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m.

Funeral services will be held at the First Baptist Church in Cambridge Springs on Wednesday morning at 11a.m.

A calling hour will be observed starting at 10 a.m.

Reverend Rod Beardsley, pastor of the Church, will officiate.

Interment will be in Gravel Run Cemetery, Woodcock Twp.

To send condolences, please visit

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