Donna Adele Drake (Gropp) passed away on February 22, 2019 at home in Southlake, Texas. She will always be remembered as a great lover of all dogs but of the Irish Wolfhounds and Greyhounds in particular. She was born on September 12, 1947 in Raleigh, North Carolina to Fred and Pearlee (Pearce) Gropp. Donna was 71 years old.
Donna graduated from W.G. Enloe High School in Raleigh, NC in 1965, North Carolina Baptist Hospital School of Nursing in 1968, Saint Leo College (BA) in 1981 and Golden Gate University (MA) in 1983.
Donna served as a Nurse in the United States Air Force from 1971-1973. It was during this time that she met her husband, Ted, an Air Force Pilot. They were married April 12, 1973. After leaving the Air Force, Donna joined Ted on his assignment at RAF Bentwaters, England. After England, other assignments followed and Donna and Ted lived in Virginia, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Miami, back to Las Vegas, and back to Phoenix. During this time, Donna continued her careen in Nursing working for several hospitals and companies like Sierra Health Services, Group Bull. Later on, she specialized in Human Resource Management for both National Health Services and Unison Industries in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Donna and Ted moved to Texas in 1996. She retired in 2001.
But by far, Donna will mostly be remembered for her great love of dogs. Donna loved everything about dogs. She loved the dogs themselves, the dog clubs, the dog shows and the dog people. Donna and Ted got their first dog (from an animal shelter) shortly before they were married in 1973. After that came, English Setters, a Golden Retriever, and then her first Irish Wolfhound in 1984. Since then, she has owned 15 Irish Wolfhounds (7 of which were either Champions or Grand Champions) and 2 Greyhounds (one Champion). She also bred 5 litters of puppies (Kennel Name: “Culcara” Irish Wolfhounds) which produced many Champions. Donna was a member of the Irish Wolfhound Club of America and served as a member of their Board of Directors and then Vice President. She was their National Specialty Show Chairman in 2007 and 2008 which she held at Southfork Ranch in North Dallas. She was also a member of the Irish Wolfhound Club of Ireland, the South Central Irish Wolfhound Club, the Northern California Irish Wolfhound Club (NorCal), and the Irish Wolfhound Association of the West Coast (IWAWC) since 1991 where she served as their Show Chairman for several years and as their President for the last 7 years until the present. Donna was also a member of the Texas Kennel Club (TKC) of Dallas where she served on their Hospitality Committee and their Judges Selection Committee. Donna was very busy with all this, but she loved it. She was never so happy as when she was at a dog show surrounded by dogs and dog people. She was a friend and mentor to so many. Her memory will live on through all those whose lives she touched.
Donna is survived by her husband, Thomas (Ted) Drake of Southlake, Texas and her 5 dogs (Lizzy, PJ, Ruby, Sweetie, and Seamus). We all miss her very much.
Visitation will be held from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm on Sunday, March 3, 2019 at the Bluebonnet Hills Funeral Home, 5725 Colleyville Blvd, Colleyville, TX 76034. The Funeral Service will be held on Monday, March 4 at the same location with interment to follow at the Dallas National Veterans Cemetery with full military honors (2000 Mountain Creek Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75211).
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Irish Wolfhound Foundation at iwfoundation.org (just scroll down and click on the words that say “Please Donate Today” ), The Irish Wolfhound Association of the West Coast by contacting Peter Brown, Treasurer at email@example.com or the South Central Irish Wolfhound Club at www.sciwc.org (there is a “Donate” button at the bottom of the “Home” page.
Online condolences may be made by visiting www.bluebonnethills.com.