Helen Irene Drake

March 2, 1918 ~ December 26, 2020 (age 102)


Helen Irene Drake was born on March 2, 1918, in Alexander, Manitoba, Canada, the daughter of George and Mary (Twa) Lovegrove.

Irene, as everyone knew her, passed away Saturday, Dec. 26, 2020, at The Timbers of Cass County, Dowagiac. She had 102 exceptional years and lived a rich family-filled life. Our family has lost a wonderful mother and grandmother. She was strong willed, feisty and independent. Hers was a life of love-she loved life. She enjoyed young people and her home at Van Auken Lake. Her passing saddens our family and she will be sorely missed.

She was the consummate homemaker with excellent sewing, knitting, cooking, and house-keeping skills. She had many long standing friendships with people she met at various groups–“Kitchen Band”, Bunco Club, Van Auken Pleasure Club, Red Hat Club and Senior Lunch/Bingo.

On July 14, 1938, Helen Irene Lovegrove and Curtis William Drake were united in marriage and for the next 79 years, they were inseparable. They met in Chicago at a church social. Irene had moved from Canada to Chicago to help her aunt Ethel who had Arthritis. Irene and Curt moved to Van Auken Lake to farm (Cherry Hill Fruit Farm) and raise their family, which consists of a daughter, Jean (Ronald) Johnson of Hartford; a son, Dale Drake of Hartford; four grandchildren: Roderick (Kathy) Johnson, Daniel (Melissa) Messer, Darcelle (Kenneth) Austin, and Danielle (Michael) Aschenbrener; seven great-grandchildren: Gabriel and Gwen Johnson, Victoria and Ayden Austin, Maxwell and Valentina Aschenbrener and Theodore Messer; and a sister, Ethel Mollberg.

Irene was preceded in passing by her husband, Curtis; her parents; four brothers: Howard Lovegrove, Clarence Lovegrove, Oliver Lovegrove and Arthur Lovegrove; and three sisters: Eleanor Sedden, Lorna Irving and Margaret Glintz.

As to Irene’s wishes cremation has taken place. There will be a graveside memorial celebration of her life at 2 p.m., on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021, at Thomas Cemetery in Bangor Township. Pastor Ben Williamson will officiate. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Hartford Bible Church. Those wishing to leave memorial condolences for the family may do so on our website at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Helen Irene Drake, please visit our floral store.


Graveside Memorial Service (with restrictions)
January 2, 2021

2:00 PM
Thomas Cemetery
35100 66th Street
Bangor, MI 49013


Hartford Bible Church
P.O. Box 6, Hartford MI 49057
Tel: 1-269-621-4521

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