Lawrence Colborn Drake

Date of Birth

March 29, 1926

Date of Death

May 12, 2010

City of Death

Santa Barbara

March 29th, 1926 – May 12th, 2010

Lawrence Colborn Drake was born in Brooklyn, NY on March 29, 1926, the son of Helen Munson Drake and Harcourt Colborn Drake.

Raised in Hempstead, NY, he graduated from Hempstead High School in January, 1942 and immediately entered the University of Michigan. He joined the Naval V-12 college program and took their training as well as a heavy schedule of engineering classes. He graduated with a B.S. in Mathematics from the Engineering School on October 20, 1945, and the following month received a commission in the Navy as Lieutenant Junior Grade. He was then sent to Honolulu as an Educational Service Officer to advise sailors being discharged.

While at the University of Michigan, he met Theda Temple. They were married on October 21, 1945. Following Larry’s discharge from the Navy, they returned to the University of Michigan and he received an MBA in June, 1947. Afterwards, they moved to the new community of Levittown on Long Island. Larry worked for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in New York City as a Systems Analyst.

A son, Lawrence Colborn Drake, Jr. was born in 1951. That same year Larry started a new job at Thomas J. Lipton in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. In 1953 a second son, Kevin Temple Drake, was born. In 1954 Theda and Larry moved to Livingston, NJ where they lived until 1995. In 1961 a third son, Roger Munson Drake, was born.

While at Lipton, Larry was in charge of the installation of their first mainframe computer system. Later he transferred to Market Research and retired in 1988. In Livingston Larry was involved with his older sons in YMCA Indian Guides and with Roger in Boy Scouts. He was also involved in PTA and AAUW activities with Theda. The family belonged to the Morristown Unitarian Fellowship.

Larry loved his family and enjoyed many outdoor activities with them. He spent many happy hours hiking the Appalachian Trail, skiing, biking and rock climbing. His greatest adventure was a raft trip down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Larry was known for his sense of humor.

Larry and Theda also traveled extensively. On May 15, 1991, en route to California they had a car accident in which Larry had two fractured vertebrae. He had successful surgery and rehabilitation, but continued to have a succession of health problems. In 1995 they moved to Santa Barbara, CA to be near Roger’s family. They enjoyed Santa Barbara, especially their membership in the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara.

In 2007 Roger changed jobs and his family moved to Boulder, CO. Theda and Larry followed in September, 2009. Larry passed away peacefully surrounded by family on May 12.

In addition to Larry’s siblings (Barbara Rakovec of Roanoke, VA, Hubert Drake of Aptos, CA, and Richard O. Drake of Poughkeepsie, NY) and three sons, other survivors include two sisters-in-law: Eleanor (Hubert) and Anita (Richard); a former sister-in-law (Norma Drake); three daughters-in-law: Joan Jacobs (Larry), Carol O’Brien Drake (Kevin), and Jennifer Drake (Roger); four granddaughters (Larissa Ragazzo, Ashley Drake, Whitney Drake, and Bonnie Drake); one grandson-in-law (Rob Ragazzo); one great-grandson (Robby Ragazzo); and several nieces and nephews.

In his memory, donations can be made to the St. Labre Indian School, Ashland, MT 59004.

The family is grateful for the wonderful services provided to Larry in his last days by Compassionate Hospice Care of Broomfield, CO.

A family memorial service will be held in September in New Hampshire, where Larry Jr. and Kevin live. Larry’s ashes will be inurned in the family plot in Windham, NY where he spent summers as a youth.

Theda’s address is Boulder Meridian # 210, 801 Gillaspie Drive, Boulder, CO 80305. Her email address is


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