Harold Eugene “Gene” Drake Sr., 78, of North Vernon, passed away on Thursday, September 15, 2022, at his residence.

Born July 25, 1944, in Indianapolis, he was the son of the late Guy and Irene (Duhamell) Drake. He married Sonja Pyles on September 24, 1971, in North Vernon; she survives.

Gene was a Columbus North High School graduate and served in the U.S. Army in the First Infantry Division from 1966-1968, during Vietnam. He retired in 1999 from Arvin’s Industries where he had worked as a forklift operator. He was a member of the Matt Hester Post #2021 V.F.W. in North Vernon, the Vietnam Veterans of America and the American Legion. Gene enjoyed traveling, fishing and working on old cars.

Surviving with his wife, Sonja is his son, Harold E. (Dee) Drake Jr. of Scipio; daughter, Deborah (Roger) Bruck of Salem, stepdaughters, Dee (Allen) Mathews of Scipio and Rhonda (John) Pyle of Seymour; sister Beryl Drake of North Vernon; seven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Richard Drake; and brother, Irvin Durbin.

A funeral service for Gene was conducted at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, September 20, 2022, at the Dove-Sharp & Rudicel Funeral Home and Cremation Service with Pastor Kevin Cline officiating. Burial was held at the Vernon Cemetery with military graveside rites by members of Matt Hester Post #2021, V.F.W.

Memorials in honor of Gene through the funeral home to the Indy Honor Flight.