Clare James Drake


It is with great love and gratitude for a life well lived that the family of Clare Drake announces his peaceful passing on May 13, 2018.

Cherishing his memory are wife Dolly; daughters Debbie (Ron) Gabinet and Jami Drake; grandchildren Jackie (Nigel) Cripps, Mike (Antara) Gabinet and Matt Drake; great-grandchildren Lexi and Taite Cripps, Noah and Jordyn Gabinet; sister-in-law Donna Crowe, niece Janna (Al) Pigat; “granddog” Jake and countless friends, colleagues and former players who shared a special bond with this very special man.

Clare loved a good laugh, a lively sing-a-long, a pint of Guinness and a chocolate Frosty.

A loving family man; a beloved coach, teacher, mentor and friend, he will be greatly missed but always remembered.

Our sincere thanks to the many staff at Devonshire Care Centre for their kindness and care over the past 3 years.

A Celebration of Clare’s Life will be held on Thursday, June 14 at the Butterdome, University of Alberta campus at 1:30 pm.  Please RSVP to:

In memoriam donations may be made to or to a charity of your choice.

For more about Clare and his coaching legacy visit:





Location information

Previous events

Celebration of Life
Butterdome - University of Alberta

116 St & 85 Ave, Edmonton, AB T6G 2R3

Get driving directions

Tribute wall - a place to share your memories and condolences

Terry and Lori Danyluk

Dolly, Debbie, Jami,
It is hard to put into words how much Clare impacted the world he lived in. He was the gauge we all lived by in coaching at the University of Alberta and beyond. Not for just the X’s and O’s but more importantly all the interpersonal things he did so well. He influenced so many and his legacy will continue to do that for many in the years to come.
Lori and I would like to pass on our sincerest condolences to you all and I personally want to thank you Dolly for sharing Clare with us all.
Terry & Lori Danyluk

Alex Carre

It is hard to express in words the great contributions Claire made as both a coach and teacher-mentor. I had the privilege of having him as a coach and teacher at Strathcona High School and at The University of Alberta as a teacher and mentor. We also crossed paths at the University of Oregon in his grad program years. My sincere sympathies and thoughts to Dolly and the rest of his extended family. He will always remain one of my greatest inspirations and respected colleagues. Rest in peace.

Walt Babiy

A special mind & a special person. Always ahead of the times, who would have thought of oxygen on the bench in the mile high city. Always remembered.

Pat Wintoniak

Dear Dolly and family I remember Clare so fondly.. In particular, I remember one evening, out with a bunch of people, we spent the night singing Al Jolson songs. I think we sang every one we could remember — Clare remembered a lot more than me! You remain in my thoughts, Dolly.

Jean Crozier

Clare Drake taught English at the (then) new Strathcona Composite High School in the 1950s. On a pleasant spring or fall day, he would take all of us in his English 20 or 30 class outside to sit under the trees, to learn and discuss the intricacies of literature and grammar. He dressed in his track suit, us in our properly-designated school clothes. He with an always present smile, respect for and enjoyment of his students. There must have been at least a 10-year difference between his age and ours, although we categorized him in the ranks of ‘older’ then — little did we know! I often used to run into Clare in later years, at the U of A’s Butterdome, on my frequent workouts at the pool. He sturdily maintained that he recognized me, as he did with most of his students. Clare Drake will always be remembered as a humble man of immense personal strength, unwavering respect, consistent good humour, uncompromising character and immense knowledge. We who knew him are a privileged lot.

Jack McManus

Dolly,Debbie and Jamie
I was fortunate to play for and with Ducky during
the 60-61 season.It was a great run to play on two
championship teams.Clare was not only a great
coach but was also a true friend I’ve enjoyed over
the years. You should all be proud of his achievements.
Jack McManus

Rory J. Koopmans

My late mother, Mrs. June C. Koopmans, B. Ed., June 1968, a proud U of AB. Alumni grad attended 10-12 Bears Hockey games a year when Coach Drake was running things, right up until he stood down in 1989. She always said that he was a truly great leader & organizer. Also, that he truly was the heart of student hockey, football, & the U of AB. Athletics program during his tenure. My condolences to & mom’s condolences from above to the Drake family! She can stickhandle up in Heaven with Clare now & show him where he can keep on coaching forever!

Yutaka Urano

To Dolly and family of my special friend and mentor Clare Drake. Please accept my condolences and sympathy as i am so sorry to hear of the passing of your husband, father, and grandfather. He was a special friend and i will always remember him as willing to help and share his knowlege of the game. I remember him as a true gentleman and will treasure his friendship and time spent with me.
Yutaka (Yutie) Urano

Darryl Havrelock

Both my wife and son feel very privileged to have had Coach Drake in our athletic lives . In my football days, with the Edmonton Wildcats ,coach Drake took a special interest in me to make me a better football player. My son-D.J. was a member of The Alberta Golden Bears winning a National Hockey Championship. My wife, Dorothy ,competed in Olympic track and field trials and Coach Drake was her mentor.I also looked forward to playing golf each year with Coach Drake in Allan Wachowich’s Polish open-I think we won it one year ! To Dolly and family our deepest sympathy-Coach Drake was a very special person .Darryl Havrelock

Francis (Frank) Dryden

The greatest coach ever! I had the pleasure of being on the Strathcona Composite High School Senior Football Team (The Strathcona Lords) in 1956 and 1957… a highlight of my life… Thanks Coach Drake!

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