KILMARNOCK—Lyle Dean Drake, 75, of Kilmarnock passed away on August 14, 2018. He was born on March 28, 1943, son of the late Barton Drake and Lucille Yates Drake.
He is survived by his wife, Brigitte E. Wolff Drake; son, Michael D. Drake and his wife, Teresita; three grandsons, Jacob, Joshua and Steven Drake.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Loretta J. Drake Mickiewicz.
Lyle attended grade school in Clinton, Ill., and high school in Wapella, Ill. Lyle quit school after the 10th grade and joined the U.S. Army on July 30, 1960.
Recognizing civilian education was essential in the Army, he enrolled in after-duty college courses. Lyle earned his bachelor’s in business administration from Columbia University and his master’s in business management and supervision from Central Michigan University. He is also a graduate of the Sergeant’s Major Academy in El Paso, Texas.
Lyle served 25 years in the Army. He spent four years in the conventional Army and 21 years in Special Forces (Green Berets). In Special Forces, his job was weapons specialist, intelligence and operations. During this time he served in Thailand for one year, Vietnam for two years and Germany for 10 years. Lyle served in the grades starting at E-1 (private) through E-9 (sergeant major).
In January 1980, he was assigned to Headquarters Department of the Army in the Pentagon. His job there was counter-terrorism policy and Special Forces and Special Operations proponent for the Army. In 1981 his Reserve Commission was activated and he was promoted to captain. In 1982, he was promoted to major and retired with that grade in July 1985.
Lyle then went into Civil Service where his first job was in the State Department, Office for Combating Terrorism. After two years in the State Department, Lyle returned to the Department of Defense to the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low Intensity Conflict (ASD SO/LIC). He worked as an Intelligence Analyst in SO/LIC with a focus on counter terrorism and special operations policy.
In 1988, Lyle identified a problem to the Deputy Secretary of Defense concerning the recovery of personnel placed in harm’s way that existed between policy and operations. This issue resulted in a debate over which office should assume responsibility. Either ASD (SO/LIC) or Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA). POW/MIA won the debate and Lyle was transferred to POW/MIA.
After two years in POW/MIA, he retired a second time as a GS-15. Lyle served a total of 39 years with the federal government.
Funeral services will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, August 26, at Kilmarnock Baptist Church, Kilmarnock. Interment will be held at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.
Family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m. Saturday, August 25, at Currie Funeral Home, Kilmarnock.
Memorial contributions may be made to Special Forces Association, P.O. Box 41436, Fayetteville, NC 28309-1436; or Parkinson Foundation, 200 SE 1st St., Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131, www.parkinson.org.