Samuel James Drake of Oak Bluffs died on Oct. 1. He was 87.

He was the last surviving child of the nine children born to Edith and Frank Drake.

In some families, there is a member who stands out as the one who the family turns to in times of need. Sam was that person in the Drake family. He was a loving uncle to many and a good friend to all who knew him.

He served in the U.S. Army Special Forces during the Cuban Missile Crisis and also the Vietnam War era.

In his youth, his strength was legendary. He worked as a farmer most of his life and had almost a sixth sense when it came to understanding nature. He planted lush vegetable and flower gardens, cared for many farm animals and seemed to convene with the wildlife around him. He fed his precious birds until he was no longer able to.

Sam had a quick wit and an acerbic sense of humor — an Islander’s humor — to the delight of all those who knew him. He liked to reminisce about his youth, recalling that “the Island didn’t have ‘no trespass’ signs’ and “you could identify a person down the end of the street by the way they walked.”

He will always be loved by, and will live on in the hearts of, his family and friends.

A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26 at New Westside Cemetery in Edgartown.

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