Drake, Violet Shields

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Violet Lureen Shields Drake, 94, died at Shenandoah Valley Westminster Canterbury in Winchester, Va., on May 3, 2022. She was born on January 1, 1928, in Cromwell, Ky., the daughter of the late Vonley B. Shields and Lula F. Shields. She was the oldest of seven children.

Violet was raised on the family farm and was active in 4H, winning judging competitions and a college scholarship. She was the first member of her family to attend college. She graduated from Western Kentucky University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Science-Home Economics. While at Western Kentucky University she met her future husband, Charles Roy Drake, and they were married in June 1949. After college, Violet taught science and home economics in Kentucky while Charles was recalled for military service during the Korean War and later completed his college degree. They then moved to Wisconsin where their two children were born and Charles completed his Ph.D. in Plant Pathology.

In 1956, they moved to Blacksburg, Va., where Charles joined the faculty of Virginia Tech. Violet became a research technician in the Veterinary Science Department and later the supervisor of the Clinical Pathology Lab at what is now the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, a position she held for 30 years. In 1990 they established the Charles R Drake and Violet Shields Drake Endowed Scholarship in the Virginia Tech College of Agriculture. Since then, more than 250 of their scholarships have been awarded to Virginia Tech students.

Violet was very active in the Blacksburg Baptist Church for over 50 years, serving in many different positions, including being selected as a deacon. Violet also served on her local AARP board, provided nutrition instruction for Mothers of Preschoolers, and volunteered at the Montgomery Regional Hospital and the Blacksburg Interfaith Food Pantry. In addition to her volunteer work, Violet enjoyed all Hokie sports, gardening, reading, sewing, knitting and walking outside to enjoy nature. Violet and Charles traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe and especially enjoyed international trips meeting with other scientists.

Violet is survived by two children, Brenda Kay Drake and husband, Samuel L. Woodward, of Charleston, S.C., and Charles Roy Drake Jr. and wife, Bonnie J. Paulsen, of Winchester, Va.; five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. She is also survived by a sister, Betty S. Phillips, and four brothers, Charles P. Shields, Leonard W. Shields, James A. Shields, and John L. Shields. Violet was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Roy Drake; a brother, William Edward Shields; and a daughter-in-law, Elizabeth (Libby) Barineau Drake.

A memorial service will be held at the Blacksburg Baptist Church on June 17, 2022, followed by a private interment at Roselawn Memorial Gardens in Christiansburg, Va.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Blacksburg Baptist Church, 550 N. Main St, Blacksburg, VA 24060, or Charles R. and Violet Shields Drake Endowed Scholarship, Virginia Tech Foundation, 902 Prices Fork Rd., Blacksburg, VA 24061.

Please visit obituaries and tribute wall at ompsfuneralhome.com.