Douglas Drake

August 3, 2010


Douglas Drake crossed the finish line early Tuesday morning, August 3, 2010. A native of Chicago, he was 85. After completing his tour of duty in the Navy during World War II, he graduated in 1952 from the Illinois Institute of Technology and moved to Milwaukee to pursue a career in Architecture (first checking out membership in the South Shore Yacht Club.) From 1960 to 1977 he was a partner in the firm of Harper-Drake & Associates, later known as Architecture 360, the firm’s most notable buildings being the Badger Building (now North Shore Bank) on Oakland Avenue at Capitol Drive, and the Globe Union complex (now Johnson Controls) on Green Bay Road. Before retiring in 1991, he was the Corporate Architect for Johnson Controls, for which he designed several award-winning structures here and abroad.

In real life, however, he was an avid sailor, racing in regattas, year around, for well over fifty years. With his son, Jared, he competed in Regional, National and World competitions and four pre-Olympic Trials. For more than a decade the team trailed their two-man boat over 10,000 miles a year to International #470 Class regattas. Drake was President of the U.S. #470 Class from 1968 to 1972 and served as its Treasurer until his death. A fervid champion of small boat sailing, he helped found the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, worked tirelessly to build its #470 fleet, and taught countless members – young and old – how to sail and race.

His integrity, patience, and gentle manner will be fondly remembered by his many friends and colleagues. Doug is survived by Thallis, his wife of 53 years; two daughters, Alexis (Milwaukee) and Victoria (Lonnie Coplen) (NYC); his son, Jared (Stephanie) (Shorewood); a sister, Jean Schneider (Houston); his brother Jim’s widow, Barbara (Milwaukee); three nephews and a niece.

Service & Reception Info
A service celebrating his life will be held at the First Unitarian Church, 1342 North Astor Street, at 4 PM Thursday, August 19. Memorials to the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center would seem most fitting. A reception following the service will be held at the Milwaukee Community Sailing Center, 1450 North Lincoln Memorial Drive, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202.

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