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DRAKE, WILLIAM D. July 26, 1930 to Jan. 1, 2013. U.S. Navy Commander, William David Drake, Ret., passed away on New Year's Day at age 82 at a hospital near his Scripps Ranch home. Born in Knoxville, Tenn., to Laurence L. and Evelyn C. Drake, Bill spent his teen years during World War II in military academies. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1952. In 1954, he married Alabama beauty queen Billie Ruth Adwell and their 58 year marriage produced six children: Cynthia Drake Owens of Oxford, N.C., Karen E. Merrill of Durham, N.C., Laurence W. Drake of San Diego, Pamela D. Kragen of Vista, David F. Drake of Menifee, and Theodore C. Drake of San Mateo. The highlight of his highly decorated 25 year military career was during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when he was the Navy's "Fuel King," responsible for keeping the U.S. flotilla continuously fueled and battle-ready as the Russian ships approached. He served aboard the USS Rigel, as well as at posts in Virginia, Georgia, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Monterey, California, Illinois and Seoul, South Korea, before retiring from the Navy in San Diego in 1976. He earned a law degree in 1977 and briefly worked for a San Diego law firm. Then he served as business administrator at the San Diego Natural History Museum from 1978 to 1990. In his retirement, Bill enjoyed genealogy, crosswords and his family, which grew to include son-in-law, David Merrill, daughter-in-law, Ricki L. Drake and eight grandchildren: Bill, Melinda, Rebecca and Christina Merrill, Matt and Aubrey Kragen, and Meghan and Madison Drake; as well as one great-grandchild, Emma Jean Merrill. Because of his humble nature, intelligence, integrity, generosity and service to his country, he was his family's role model and will always be our hero. Graveside services will be held at 10 a.m. January 11th at Miramar National Cemetery. Arrangements are being handled by Miramar Memorial Services. (858) 824-1908.