Philip M. Drake
June 10, 1925 – January 25, 2019
Philip Meurer Drake passed away peacefully at his home on Friday January 25, 2019. He is survived by his daughters, Anne, Kathleen, Margaret (Todd Vallely), and Susan Holly, (Todd Sylvestri.) Philip had 3 grandchildren, Kathleen Grosse, Ross and Kevin Sylvestri and 2 great grandchildren, Annabella and Michael Morrell. He is also survived by his sister, Nancy Drake Burr (Prentice Burr) of Atlanta, Georgia.
Philip was born on June 10, 1925 in Flushing New York to Joseph and Florence Drake. His wife, Susan, his brother, Joseph Drake, and his sisters, Joan Nichols and Mary McFeely, predeceased him.
Philip graduated from Phillips Academy in 1943 and later went to earn his B.A. from Yale College in 1948 and his J.D. from The University of Virginia Law School in 1951. He began his legal career with Sullivan and Cromwell in New York in 1951 and 2 years later was appointed Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York where he served from 1953 to 1955. In April 1955, he joined Cummings and Lockwood in Stamford, CT. There, he served as managing partner from 1978 through 1987 and mentored generations of lawyers at the firm. He specialized in trusts and estates and personal tax work until his retirement in April 2018. In addition to his professional responsibilities, Mr. Drake had been actively involved in civic and community affairs, including serving on the Board of the Peterson Foundation, supporting the Greenwich Library. He was a former Trustee and Director of the Greenwich Hospital Association, The Putnam Trust Company, and the Charles E. Culpepper Foundation. He served as an honorary Trustee of the University of Virginia Law School Foundation.
A devout Catholic, Philip dedicated 48 years of service to the Saint Thomas More Catholic Center at Yale University where he participated in the creation of The Thomas Golden Center. Philip helped establish St. Michael the Archangel Church in 1963. In addition, he established the Drake Catholic Ministry Foundation at Phillips Academy, which enables Andover students to develop and practice their Catholic faith.
Philip gave credit to his years at Andover for inspiring him to develop leadership skills. He often admitted that while he may have had a failing grade or two, he learned the importance of philanthropy and took the school’s motto, “Non Sibi,” Not for Self, very seriously. An Alumni Board member, Philip continued to actively support Andover until his death.
Philip’s special talents for organization and leadership have long been recognized in the Town of Greenwich where he served with distinction on the Board of Estimate and Taxation from1964 to 1978, the last eight years as its Chairman. A wide variety of civic activities in Greenwich include serving on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club; he was a co founder of the Republican Round Table and of The Whitby School. Philip was an original member of the Greenwich “Townies,” which started as an investment club. Years later, they abandoned that mission but continued their monthly dinners. Phil attended his last meeting in November.
Philip was a member of Blind Brook, Round Hill Club, Greenwich Field Club, The Kittansett Club in Marion, MA and Hole in the Wall in Naples, FL.
Philip loved playing tennis and squash with his daughters and became a passionate golfer until he was 91 years old. He shot his age many times, the first time on his 75th birthday at the Kittansett Club.
He leaves behind a profound legacy of Faith, Discipline and Love. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Drake Catholic Ministry Foundation at Phillips Academy. Checks can be made out to the Trustees of Phillips Academy, noting the Foundation, and sent to Phillips Academy, 180 Main Street, Andover, MA 01810.
Visitation will be held on Friday, February 1st at Gallagher & Sons Funeral Home, 31 Arch Street. Greenwich CT from 5:00 to 7:00pm
Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday February 2nd at 10:30am at St Michael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church, 469 North Street, Greenwich, CT
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Philip M. Drake
February 3, 2019
Dear Anne, Meg, Kit, and Holly:
If there was ever a life that deserves to be celebrated and honored, it is the life of your dad.
What a great guy! Great dad, great husband, great lawyer, great philanthropist and a tireless supporter of Greenwich, just to name a few.
He was a true gentleman and a role model to many.
Indeed a life well lived.
Two quick stories from when Anne and I were just starting out. We were both in our early 20’s and working for Senator Lowell Weicker in Washington DC.
Anne wanted her own credit card but lacked the credit experience, so she needed to get her dad to co-sign. She handed him the application. I think it was from Putnam Trust. Mr. Drake quickly signed his name under all the legalese.
“Dad”, Anne said with surprise, “you're a lawyer. How could you sign that form without reading it first”.
“I don't have to read it”, Mr. Drake said. “I wrote it”.
Story number two from around the same time: Anne and I were going to a wedding near the Connecticut River with Mr. Drake, who was driving, and I think Mrs. Drake.
At he time I was enamored with CB radios and I brought one along with a magnetic antenna that could go on the roof and a cigarette lighter adapter.
I sat in the passenger seat and like a complete goofball started calling to various truckers to see if there were police ahead or traffic problems.
Looking back I'm embarrassed just to think about it. But Mr. Drake couldn't have been more gracious and good humored about the entire situation
He would have been well within his rights to at least roll his eyes a few times but he was far too kind and accepting a person to do that. In fact, he made me feel like I was doing him a favor. What a guy!
You're very blessed to have had for so many years a dad who loved and treasured you and who you could admire and be proud of in so many ways
Who could ask for more.?
January 29, 2019
Dear Anne, Meg, Kit, and Holly: I am so very sorry for the loss of your dad. Phil was a great person. I will always remember how especially kind he was to me when I first relocated to Greenwich. He was full of great stories and always shared those he had of his friends who went to UVA with me. I was comforted so much when he responded graciously to my condolences when Joe passed away. I like to think he and Joe, along with Sue and Bea are sharing a smile and laugh now. My deepest sympathy to all and my prayers for his rise to glory. Rest in Peace, Phil.
January 29, 2019
Phil. Was a dear dear friend of my husband Charlie (through out their Andover days). And he came up from Naples to speak at Charlie ‘s funeral. And we shared many happy reunion gatherings in Naples with many of his classmates. He was a wonderful wonderful gentleman and a great friend. I liked your Christmas picture and did speak with him at that time. Fondly Maxine. Arnold