Donald George Draper, age 88, was called home to his savior Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, where he joins his beloved wife of 68 years, Evelyn, to rest eternally. Donald was born Dec. 30, 1928 in Lansing, to the late Charlotte "Lottie" May (Heffelfinger) Draper. He married the love of his life, Evelyn Rachel Wright on Feb. 14, 1948, at the First Methodist Church in Lansing, - the same church where the couple first met.
Don earned his wings to fly at age 13 and as a young man served in the Civil Air Patrol with a rank of sergeant. While in high school, Don worked at Richard's Drug Store in Lansing as a soda jerk which inspired him to pursue a degree in pharmacology. He earned his Bachelors of Science in Pharmacology from Ferris Institute (now Ferris State University) in August of 1952. He then returned to Richard's Drug Store as a licensed pharmacist and later assumed ownership of the store in 1955. Don and Evelyn worked closely together at their family owned business until 1970. In January 1971, Don began his 23 year career as a pharmacist at Meijer in the Lansing area. After moving his family "North" to Antrim County, Don continued to work for Meijer at their newly opened Traverse City store as a pharmacist until his retirement in 1994. Additionally, he served on the Michigan State Pharmacy Association as a board member and treasurer.
Outside of work, Don spent much of his free time with his family and volunteering his time to his church. He was an obedient servant of our Lord and Savior. Don loved the outdoors whether it be working in his gardens, hunting, fishing, skiing, ice skating, playing tennis, volleyball, or just playing in the yard with his grandchildren. He was also an avid Detroit Tiger fan and enjoyed watching baseball in his later years of life.
Don leaves behind a large family to cherish his memory. He is survived by his 10 children, Donna (John) Abbey, Jacqueline (Robert) Humphrey, Janette (Clare) Everett, Rachel (Lawrence) Grades, Patricia Gallap, Joanne (Lorne) Crosby, Linda (Edward) Lopardo, George (Michelle) Draper, Denise (Duane) Draper-Ingraham, Joseph (Dawn) Draper; 21 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 2:30 p.m. with visitation beginning at 1:30 p.m. at Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home, 305 Sixth St., Traverse City, MI 49684.
The family would like to send our heartfelt appreciation to the staff at Samaritas Senior Living Home in Williamsburg and Hospice of Michigan - Traverse City Branch who diligently cared for our beloved father and grandfather during his final months.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Bible Baptist Church, 1915 Cass Road, Traverse City, MI 49685.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and memories with Don's family at www.reynolds-jonkhoff.com.
The family is being cared for by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Published on November 10, 2017