Ben Drake Sr., 80, Surrey, formerly of Gonvick and Brooklyn Park, MN, died Sunday, December 4, 2022, at Trinity Hospital in Minot ND.
Ben was born on April 8, 1942 in Winona, Mississippi to Mary E. Townsend. He was raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota by his grandmother, Mary A. Townsend. In Minnesota he attended elementary and high school graduating from Votech High School in 1962.
After graduation Ben worked various jobs until he enlisted with the United States Army in October of 1962. During this time, he was stationed in Germany as a Radio Operator. Ben was very proud of his time spent serving his country and was honorably discharged in October 1965.
Once back in Minneapolis he began work for Minneapolis Moline as a machinist. In 1973 Ben was hired on with the Minneapolis Fire Department, a career he would hold for the next 25 years. At the fire department he held the positions of firefighter, fire motor operator and lastly engineering officer. He loved his job with the fire department even if it meant driving/riding in the open cab of the trucks on cold and snowy nights.
Ben was previously married and from this union four children were born. He would go on to meet Lori Flodstrom in 1982 and the couple married in 1985 in Minneapolis. Together they would have two children.
Retirement didn’t slow Ben down any. After retiring from the fire department, he drove charter buses for Lange Transport, moving people to many locations for many events. Then he went on to drive for Red River Trails in Moorhead, MN.
Ben was an avid woodworker and car enthusiast; he was currently restoring a 1964 Chevy Impala. He was also a member of 1st Baptist Church of Minot.
Ben is survived by his wife, Lori; children, Monica (Maurice) Wilson, Apple Valley, MN, Chrissy (Kyle) Fandrich, Minot, Cynthia Drake, Surrey, Ben (Melissa) Drake Jr., Brooklyn Park, MN and twin daughters Magdelina and Esmeralda Drake, Minneapolis; brothers, Sam Clark, Vicksburg, MS and Billy (Sandra) Clark, St. Paul, MN; sister, Mary Sue Gilmore of Port Gibson, MS and Ruby (Frank) Odom of Fayette, MS; mother-in-law, Florence Flodstrom, McIntosh, MN; in-laws, Julie (Al) Peterson, Bemidji, MN, Kelly (Michelle) Flodstrom, Tuson, Arizona, Renee (Hutch) Hutchens, Clearbrook, MN and Chuck (Myra) Flodstrom, Brooklyn Park, MN; special cousin, James, Fairbanks, AK; along with many grandchildren and great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; grandmother, Mary Townsend; sister-in-law, Sophia Clark; his brother, Joe Townsend; sister, Daisy Gilmore and father-in-law, Douglas Flodstrom.
Chapel Committal Service: 1:00 p.m. December 16, 2022 at North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan, North Dakota.