Obituary : Harris Nickerson Drake
Harris Drake died on February 12 at Windemere. He was a unique and extraordinary human being who helped many people to change their lives for the better. Born in 1925 in Norton, he was the fifth of nine children born to Lemuel and Edith Drake. His parents moved the family to Martha's Vineyard in the 1930s.
Harris attended the Edgartown School, graduating in 1943. Later he went off to serve his country during the Korean War, serving in the Merchant Marines. After the war he worked for the United Nations, and lived in New York City. He was proud to have served his country, and loved working for the UN and living in New York where he fully immersed himself in the political, social and intellectual pursuits of the times. He returned home to the island in the late 1960's and soon began pursuing his interest in psychoanalysis, eventually entering into a graduate school program and receiving his Master's degree in Jungian Psychoanalysis, when he was in his late 1950s.
His family and friends called him their own. Although he did not have any children, his nieces and nephews sought out his counsel and listened attentively to his ruminations about all things meaningful. He was as open and receptive to the interests and needs of his friends as he was to his family. His life was enriched and centered around enhancing relationships with those endeared to him.
In his professional practice he served many people over the years, and continued his work until near the end of his life. Helping people to overcome their problems was his calling and he found great joy in knowing he had assisted someone in improving their human condition.
He will be affectionately remembered for his multi-faceted personality that included: his intellectual prowess, his open mind, his wisdom, his existential ruminations, his gentlemanly demeanor, his love of young people and their ideas, his sense of irony and humor, his love of literature and, most importantly, his willingness to open his heart to anyone who sought out his company, He was truly a "Man for All Seasons", and he will be greatly missed by the many who came to love and respect him.
Harris leaves behind his sisters, Pauline Benton and Edith Bennett, his brother, Samuel Drake, along with many nieces, nephews, and a long list of close and dear friends.
A memorial service will be held at St. Andrews Church in Edgartown on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 11 am.