Juanita (MacDonald) Drake

Juanita (MacDonald) Drake, 82, of Milford passed away peacefully at the Community Hospice House in Merrimack on November 17, 2017 after a courageous battle with thyroid cancer.

Born to Helen and Harold MacDonald on October 29, 1935, Juanita graduated from Ashland High School in 1953. Soon after graduating she met the love of her life, Charles Drake. She decided he would be the one she would marry, so the story goes; they were married on April 1, 1955. Together Juanita and Chuck had eight children, seven beautiful daughters and her favorite birthday present, her boy. Throughout her life Juanita had many occupations but her most rewarding roles were wife, mother and grandmother.

Juanita “loved to move,” but has called southern New Hampshire her home for more than three decades. Growing up she resided in Ashland, NH where she made many lifelong friends, including her best friend of 71 years, Catherine (Moran) Shaw. Cathy and Juanita shared many wonderful memories together. Many more friends were made throughout the years, including a special friendship with Gloria Gardner of Milford.

Juanita had a love for cooking, singing, dancing, reading and enjoying the company of her family, friends and her dog Poncho. In her final days she continued to cook, dance, sing and read all while surrounded by loving family, friends and of course Poncho.

She was very proud and thankful for her strong and dedicated medical team who cared for her and helped her to persevere through the many challenges in her fight against cancer. Juanita hopes to make a difference in the medical community through participation in a case study for her endocrinologist, Dr. Robert Lavine, and as an Anatomical Gift Donor to Dartmouth Medical School.

Juanita was predeceased by her husband of 50 years, Charles Drake, her daughter and son-in-law Catherine and Clyde Dobson, her grandson Michael Schooner, son-in-law Larry Van Zandt and great great granddaughter Victoria Lemay. She will be dearly missed by her children, Charlene Lewis of Whitefield, Frank Drake of Lyndeborough, Cherie Van Zandt of Littleton, Cindy Couturier of Whitefield, Cynthia Schooner of Whitefield, Carla Drake of Greenfield and Caroline and Martin Crooker of Lyndeborough. Juanita was always proud of every member of her family and she will be missed by her 23 grandchildren, 45 great-grandchildren and 4 great great grandchildren.

Services for Juanita will be held on Monday, November 20 at the Unitarian Church in Wilton, NH at 4:00pm followed a celebration of life at the Red House. In lieu of flowers please send donations to Share Outreach of Milford.