Thomas A. Draper Jr. 1924-2020
POLAND — Thomas A. Draper Jr., 96, passed away early Saturday morning, Nov. 21, 2020, at Woodlands at Hampton Woods Nursing Facility. He was formerly of Boardman.
Thomas was born in Youngstown, on May 29, 1924, to Thomas A. Draper Sr. and Elma Hawkins Draper. Thomas graduated from Wilson High School in January 1943 and then entered the Army in May.
Thomas served with the 274th Armored Field Artillery as a technician fifth grade in France, Luxembourg, Belgium and Germany. In France, September 1944, he received the Silver Star for gallantry in action. Thomas was honorably discharged in September 1945.
Thomas then met Betty Lee Evans at a wedding on New Years’ Eve in 1945. They wrote letters while he attended Bradley University. Tom proposed and they were married Sept. 6, 1946. Betty and Tom were married for 71 years.
After graduation from Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., Thomas taught school for the Youngstown City Schools for 32 years: 29 years at North High School in machine shop, one year at Manpower Skill Center and three years at Adams Jr. High School.
He was a longtime member of Westminster Presbyterian Church, where he welcomed the opportunity to serve as a trustee. Tom volunteered at the yearly book sale with Betty, where he provided baked goods and helped to set up / tear down, well into his 80s. Thomas helped replace the footbridge at Camp Frederick, formerly known as Camp Westminster. Thomas is a former member of Boy Scout Committee Troop 60 at Westminster Church. He was a member of the NEA, MRTA ORTA, Berlin Center Historical Society, American Legion and American Sternwheelers Association.
In 1993,Thomas volunteered to be an essential part of the building of “Kids Town” playground in Boardman Park.
Thomas always loved to share his generous knowledge and experience on and about the Ohio River and its tributaries. He was an avid boater for 66 years. You would find him most summers after retirement on the Ohio River on his houseboat, “Drape Shape,” welcoming friends and family to join him in a story or two.
Thomas leaves behind daughter, Terri Ford of Hilton Head, S.C.; son, Tom (Judy) Draper of Canfield; five grandchildren, Fred “Bo” (Caroline) Ford, James (Michelle) Ford, Matthew (Stephanie) Ford, Kati (Justin) Shearer and Kari (Edward) Ross; 11 great-grandchildren; and sister-in-law, Lois Draper.
Besides his parents, Thomas was preceded in death by his wife, Betty; son-in-law, Thomas B. Ford; and brother, William H. Draper.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Boy Scout Troop 60, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 119 Stadium Drive, Youngstown, OH 44512 or the American Legion, Post No. 49, 402 Lakeside Drive, Hamlet, N.C. 28345.
Memorial service and internment will be at a later date in North Carolina. There will be no calling hours.
Family and friends may visit www.lanefuneral homes.com to view this obituary and send condolences.