Dr. Douglas A. Drake, DDS of Belvidere went to be with the Lord on Christmas morning with his wife at his side. He lived a very full and rich life until the age of 99. Douglas was born in Minneapolis, MN on August 4, 1918 the son of Albert and Esther (Puhl) Drake. He served in the United States Navy during WWII as a specialist in aircraft welding structures. He graduated from Stout Institute in Menomonie, WI in 1946 and from Northwestern University Dental School in 1950.
Douglas had three loves in his life: his wife, his family and his community.
On August 8, 1942 in Minneapolis, MN Douglas married his high school sweetheart, Joyce P. Turrittin. They recently celebrated 75 years of marriage. He and Joyce moved from Chicago to Belvidere and opened Doug’s dental practice on September 15, 1950. Joyce and Doug traveled the world and visited friends on their many trips. They built a beautiful cabin on Madeline Island in Wisconsin and enjoyed it with their family and friends for more than 20 years. Joyce and Doug were devoted to each other and truly in love for their 75 years of marriage.
Douglas also deeply loved his family. He and Joyce were proud of their four sons and daughters-in-law: Dr. Doug Drake (Kathe) of Edina, MN, Dr. Dale Drake (Dr. Elaine) of Belvidere, Daryl (Dr. June) of Glen Ellyn, IL and Dan (Dr. Anita) of Rochester, NY. He enjoyed spending time with his 9 grandchildren: Julia (Chad) Jurgensen, Heather (Tyler) Larsen, Christa (Chad) Jenkins, Lindsay Drake, Adam Drake, Andrew (Hallie) Drake, Daryl Drake, Helena (Rob) Kiepura, and Diana (Jim) Valenti. Doug and Joyce were also blessed with 11 great-grandchildren: Ben, Christian, Noah and Lydia Jurgensen; Madelyn Larsen; Isaac, Jalen, Micah and Chelsea Jenkins, James Drake, and Danny Kiepura. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren lovingly called him BEPA. Doug had the talent and creativity to build or fix anything. The grandchildren were known whenever something broke to say, “Don’t worry! Bepa can fix it!”
He also loved his community. Joyce and Doug randomly picked Belvidere to move to after seeing the movie “Mr. Belvedere.” That choice proved to be a blessing for them and for the community of Belvidere. Dr. Doug, as he was affectionately called, practiced dentistry in Belvidere for 41 years, 14 of those years with his son, Dale and daughter-in-law, Elaine. Throughout his 67 years of living in Belvidere Douglas served in many volunteer roles. He served on the Belvidere School Board for 14 years, 10 as Secretary and 3 years as President. He was on the Highland Hospital Board for 16 years, 3 as president. Doug was on the Regional Board of School Trustees for 16 years, 12 as Chairman. The Boone County Board and Regional Planning Commission also benefitted from his service. He was a past member of the Rotary Club, IOU Club, American Legion, American Dental Society, Illinois State Dental Society and Winnebago County Dental Society. Douglas also was a member of the Belvidere Masonic Lodge #60, the Tebala Shrine and The Oriental Band. For this dedicated service to Belvidere and the surrounding communities Dr. Douglas Drake was awarded the Chamber of Commerce Doctor of Civic Betterment Award in 1972.
A memorial service honoring Doug will take place in the springtime. A notice will be placed announcing the date and time. Dr. Douglas A. Drake was loved by and will be sincerely missed by his wife, family, and friends.