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Celebrity Obituaries

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Memories & Candles

“hello i never actually meet you in person but i saw your testimony on the live broadcast at international. i just wanted to say how sorry i'm for...Read More »
1 of 14 | Posted by: anitra horston - ecorse, MI

“So sorry to hear about your great loss, know that Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot heal, Rhonda I remember your awesome testimony and you might...Read More »
2 of 14 | Posted by: Cheryl Starr & Sons - Brownstown, MI

“Drake Family: There are not too many words to say to a family at this time but we hope the prayers and words of encouragement will comfort you. God...Read More »
3 of 14 | Posted by: Roger and Terri Moore and Family - MI

“It was a pleasure getting to know and work with your family this year after you all joined IGC. We are praying your strength and comfort now and in...Read More »
4 of 14 | Posted by: Mr. & Mrs. Kurtis Jackson - MI

“You are in our thoughts and prayers... The Warner Family ”
5 of 14 | Posted by: Cordelia Warner - Beaumont, TX

“Coach, Rhonda and family, Coach, Thank you for being the loyal, respectful, caring person you were everyday. You taught us all about competition,...Read More »
6 of 14 | Posted by: Greg Miller - Yorktown, IN

“So sorry to hear about the passing of Coach Drake. My thoughts and prayers are with his entire Family. ”
7 of 14 | Posted by: Mike Giunta - Fisher, IN

“I have not seen Leonard for many years but spent a great deal of time with him and Chuck playing basketball at the "Park". Great neighborhood games...Read More »
8 of 14 | Posted by: Dave Holloman - Niles, MI

“TO THE DRAKE FAMILY, I WAS SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT COACH DRAKE'S PASSING ON THE LAMAR BASKETBALL WEBSITE. I WILL KEEP YOU IN MY PRAYERS. SINCERELY...Read More »
9 of 14 | Posted by: MIKE MC ALEER - beaumont, TX

“We are praying and thinking of you and your family as you struggle through this time. May peace and comfort find you all. With love and care, The...Read More »
10 of 14 | Posted by: Lisa Smalley - Muncie, IN

“I've known Leonard since 8th grade and have many fond memories of him. My heart goes out to his family. My sincerest condolences on his passing. ”
11 of 14 | Posted by: Dave Barber - Lee's Summit, MO, MO

“To the Family of Leonard Drake, So sorry to learn about the lost of your Dear Loved One, Leonard. Please know that so many people share your grief...Read More »
12 of 14 | Posted by: J. Moore - South Bend, IN

“What great childhood memories I have of watching Leonard when I was a kid while sitting at the end of the Bobcat bench. My prayers are with his...Read More »
13 of 14 | Posted by: Michael Holloman - Stevensville, MI

“My thoughts and prayers are with Leonard's family and friends. ”
14 of 14 | Posted by: R. Kim Summers - Belmont, MI


Leonard Drake, 56, Athletic Director at Evansville Central High School, passed away on Wednesday, September 29, 2010, at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Evansville, Indiana.

He was born in Chicago, Illinois, and moved with his family to Niles, Michigan, at age 15. A standout basketball player at Brandywine High School, he received a full athletic scholarship to attend Central Michigan University (CMU) where he earned bachelor and master degrees, was a four-time letter winner, team captain, and the 1977 “athlete of the year.” He is a member of the Brandywine and CMU Halls of Fame and his retired jerseys hang proudly in Brandywine’s gym and CMU’s Rose Arena. Leonard later returned to his alma mater, CMU, for his first head coaching position.

Coach Drake was a popular and well-known basketball coach who inspired and touched the lives of thousands of young people across America. His illustrious college coaching career spanned 33 years. He began at Xavier University (1978-85) in Louisiana where he coached men’s and women’s basketball. He then moved to Indiana to coach at Ball State University (1985-93) as an assistant to Al Brown, and remained on the BSU staff’s of Rick Majerus and Dick Hunsaker. His extensive coaching career also took him and his family to Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, and most recently to Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti.

Success followed Leonard throughout his career including eight conference championships; seven conference tournament championships; five NCAA Tournament appearances including the 1990 “Sweet 16”; four NIT appearances; and one WNIT appearance.

He was a member of Cathedral Faith Baptist Church in Beaumont, TX; International Gospel Center in Ecorse, MI; National Basketball Coaches Association; and the organization 100 Black Men. Leonard was actively involved in his community and deeply committed to helping young people realize their dreams.

He is survived by his loving family: Wife of 24 years, Rhonda ( Haydel) Drake, Evansville, IN, son, Jared Leonard Drake, senior at Southern University in New Orleans, LA, daughter, Enjolí Desiree Drake, sophomore at Central High School, Evansville, IN, brothers, Chuck Drake, Las Vegas, NV, Kenneth Charles Drake, Chandler, AZ, Jason Leonard Drake, South Bend, IN, David Drake, Lincoln, IL, Bilal Rahman Drake, Chicago, IL, mother-in-law, Joyce M. Simms, Beaumont, TX, father-in-law, Honoré S. Haydel, Jr., brother-in-law: Honoré S. Haydel, III, both of Baton Rouge, LA, many nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives, former players, teammates, colleagues, and other friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents Ruth and Charles Drake.

Friends may visit from 4-8 p.m. on Monday, October 4, 2010, at Kaniewski Funeral Home.

Funeral services are at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 5, 2010, at Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 North Bendix Drive, South Bend, IN. Pastors Delbert A. Mack and Marvin Miles are officiating. Burial will follow at Highland Cemetery.

A Community Celebration of Life will be held at Brandywine High School on Tuesday, October 5, 2010, at 7:00 p.m. An additional memorial service is being planned in Evansville, IN, at Memorial Baptist Church.

Memorial contributions may be made at the Evansville Federal Teacher’s Credit Union, 4401 Theatre Drive, Evansville, IN 47715, for a College 529 Savings Plan for his daughter Enjolí Drake.

Browning Funeral Home, 738 E. Diamond Avenue, Evansville, IN 47711 is in charge of local arrangements.

Funeral Home
Kaniewski Funeral Homes, Inc.
3545 N. Bendix Dr. South Bend, IN 46628
Tel. (574) 277-4444

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