Mrs. Anastasia E. "Ellen" (Salus) Drake, R.N., 100 years and five months, passed peacefully into Eternal Life early Saturday morning in the comfort of her residence with her family at her bedside.
Born January 16, 1921 in the Warrior Run section of Hanover Township, she was the daughter of the late Anthony
and Eva (Maschinskas) Salus. Mrs. Drake was recently honored on the occasion of her centennial birthday with a parade of first responders passing the family residence in the Preston section of Hanover Township.
Educated in the Hanover area schools, she was a member of the 1938 graduating class of the former Hanover High School. Mrs. Drake later furthered her education by attending the former Wilkes-Barre General Hospital School of Nursing, graduating as a Pennsylvania Registered Nurse in 1942.
Until her formal retirement, Mrs. Drake was employed as a registered nurse with the Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, serving in several departments including the operating room for a number of years. Professionally, she also volunteered for many years as a disaster relief nurse for the Wyoming Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Devoted to her Catholic faith, she was a longtime member of Saint Leo / Holy Rosary Parish in Ashley. She was active in several parish affairs including the Altar and Rosary Society; the Saint Leo’s Cyrenians Club; she assisted with the annual church bazaars and practically ran the parish flea market, making a number of friends over the years.
Anastasia loved her family dearly and cherished her many friendships. She welcomed everyone into her home with kindness and delicious home cooking. She is remembered as being a wonderful cook and baker who also loved to tend to her many seasonal gardens; activities she enjoyed and which kept her active in her later years. An avid reader, she could often be seen falling asleep with a good book held gently in her hands. Most of all, a consummate mother, she was truly amazed when she became a great-grandmother, and would look at the children’s photos frequently.
In her spare time and having a son who serves as an off-ice official for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey team; the family held season tickets to the Mohegan Sun Arena and were members of the Penguins Booster Club. Mrs. Drake became affectionately known as “the red hat lady” by arena regulars as well as a number of players including Dennis Bonvie, who made sure to take photo opportunities with her and autograph a milestone birthday card.
Mrs. Drake was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Mary Ann Drake in 1962 and by her beloved husband Mr. Joseph M. Drake on March 18, 1997. At the time of Mr. Drake's passing, the couple shared fifty-one years of married life together. Also preceding her were brothers, Vincent and Peter Salus and sisters, Mrs. Margaret Mozur and Mrs. Anna Wish.
Left to cherish the wonderful memories they hold of their mother are her children, Mr. Thomas J. Drake and his wife Jane of Nanticoke; Mr. Paul J. Drake and his wife Judy of Larksville; Ms. Susan M. Drake, at home; Susan’s friend, Mr. George Steltz III of Hanover Township; Grandchildren including Audra Drake; Jonathan Drake and his fiancé Jennifer Blakeley; Megan Wimmer and her husband Patrick; Elizabeth Drake and fiancé Kevin Pearce; Michael Drake and his wife Blair; Great-Grandchildren, Jillian and Blakely Wimmer; Logan and Madelyn Drake; fellow parishioners and dear friends.
Funeral services for Mrs. Drake will be conducted on Wednesday with a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. in Saint Leo/Holy Rosary Parish, 33 Manhattan Street, Ashley. The Reverend Vincent H. Dang, pastor will serve as celebrant and homilist. Interment with the Rite of Committal will follow in the family lot of Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Cemetery, PA Route #115, Bear Creek Township. Those attending services are asked to assemble directly at church by 10:45 a.m. Relatives and friends may join the Drake family for visitation and shared remembrances Tuesday evening from 5:00 until 7:00 p.m. at the John V. Morris Family Funeral Home Inc., 625 North Main Street, Wilkes-Barre.
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