In Memory

Steve Drake

Steve Drake

April 14, 1944 - May 22, 2021

Steven C. Drake, aged 77, originally from Tiffin, Ohio died May 22, 2021 in Colorado Springs.  He was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrous in January 2021.  Drake’s vision after his diagnosis was: 

“To do all I can to live as good as I can for as long as I can.”   And he did!

Drake married his college sweetheart, Barbara Short, in 1966.  Barbara was a lifelong teacher and educator.  

Drake worked his way through the Ohio State University (1962-1968) while playing varsity hockey for the Buckeyes, earning a degree in Agricultural Economics and a master’s degree in International Economics.  He was a member of Alpha Zeta Fraternity.  

His career included a reporter for the Associated Press, communications coordinator at Ohio State University, public relations director at Clarke University (Dubuque, Iowa), and public relations director at Albion College (Albion, Michigan), and executive vice president of the American Soybean Association (St. Louis, Missouri).  He then founded and owned Drake and Company, an association management company that managed national membership associations for 19 years.  After selling the company in 2011, Drake and his wife Barbara moved to Florida in 2013.  In 2020 they moved to Colorado Springs to be closer to family.

During his award-winning career, Drake was an active volunteer including president of the Agricultural Relations Council, president of the Alpha Zeta Foundation, president of the AMC Institute, founder of the Fellowship of Christian Farmers International, served on the Ohio State University Alumni Board, and elder at St. Mark Presbyterian Church (Ballwin, MO).  Drake was inducted into the ARC Hall of Fame and the Clarke University Athletic Hall of Fame.  He received the Meritorious Service Award from the National Christmas Tree Association, the Distinguished Service Award from the Livestock Publications Council, and the Summit Award from the American Society of Association Executives.

Drake was preceded in death by his parents, Max and Marion Drake, in-laws, Donna and Gordon Short, and brother-in-law, Rick Short.

Drake is survived by his wife, Barbara, daughter, Michelle Drake Rahalewich and son-in-law, Joe Rahalewich of Colorado Springs and son, Michael Drake of Lewisville, Texas.

The family will have a private memorial.

In lieu of flowers, the Drake family requests those wishing to make a contribution in Steve’s memory to please consider the CFAES Student Support Fund (316943) at The Ohio State University Foundation,     PO Box 710811, Columbus, OH 43271 or visit and search by fund number 316943.

Other Links:

Agrimarketing - In 2015, Steve was inducted into the Agricultural Public Relations Hall of Fame. The Agricultural Relations Council (ARC) began recognizing ag PR leaders about 10 years ago. There was little doubt Steve would be on that list in our early years. He was synonymous with excellence in ag PR and ag communications overall. He will be sorely missed in the ag communications business.


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05/25/21 12:35 PM #1    

Sten Williams

What a shock!  He will be greatly missed by all of us and a whole lot of others.  We saw Steve and Barb a few years ago in Florida and then last year in Dallas when they were visiting their son, Mike.  Steve made a big impact on so many lives.  Our sympathy to his family. 

I am sure a lot of us have so many great memories of him at NOBA, playing hockey, football, and many more fun ones while growing up in Tiffin together.

With synpathy.


05/25/21 03:12 PM #2    

Dick Wetzel

I am deeply saddened by the news of Steve's passing.  We were great friends growing up together.  I spent many happy hours at the "bull farm" trekking through the woods, playing hockey, riding horses, and just hanging  around.  I remember how kind his mother was to all us kids and what a happy family they had.  Our only contact after graduation was a couple of reunions and messages, but the wonderful memories are vivid.  My deepest condolences to his family.  Rest in peace, Steve.  

05/26/21 09:56 AM #3    

Jim Flechtner

So sad to hear about the loss of another classmate, and so soon after hearing about his new medical challenge.  I never played hockey, but I remember the bull farm well, since I lived in that end of town.  Steve was a good guy and will be missed by many.  My condolences to his family.

05/26/21 10:59 AM #4    

Peggy Spitler

deepest sympathy goes out to Steve's family.  God bless


05/26/21 02:31 PM #5    

Paul Thomas

Bill Doemel had contacted me the day Steve passed.  He provided additional background info from Barb as well as her contact details.  As Bill said, that can be provided for those interested.  I emailed her that night with condolences as follows:

I have a hard time expressing how much the announcement of Steve’s passing has been a slap in the face.  I had just recently communicated with him via our website and could see how much things had headed south with the IPF diagnosis.  Growing up, we were in church together with the Drake family and I knew all of them well.  Max and Marion were always gracious hosts for those of us playing “farm pond” hockey at NOBA where Steve developed his “hocky chops”.  Many a night after skating the pond, the Drakes would treat us to caramel popcorn at the house and we’d continue gaming playing Monopoly.  I was so pleased when he was recognized at OSU for being on the hockey team.  As you probably know, this was very early in the push to make hockey an American sport rather than just Canadian.


We spent hours in the NOBA barn building forts from straw bales and enjoying the life that too many of our youth will never experience.  Memories and a time I will never forget!


I am a retired orthodontist and received so much encouragement from Dave when I was applying for admission to a program.  What a wonderful family!  I enjoyed following Steve’s career through the website and could clearly see he had a great “run”.  Still not long enough however.  Please know that you and the extended family are in my thoughts and prayers.  I wish strength, peace and comfort in the coming days. I am sure you will receive other similar remembrances.  Please stay in-touch with us as time allows. 

05/27/21 08:39 PM #6    

Jane Thompson (Paige)

I was so sorry to hear of Steve's passing. What qa nice guy he was.  I have great memories of the skating parties at the bull farm. My deepest sympathy to his family.


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