John W. Drake, 85, passed away on March 11, 2024, in San Luis Obispo, surrounded by his family. He was born March 5, 1939, in Whitley Gardens, California, the youngest of six children to Charles and Lisle Drake. Raised in the Paso Robles area, he attended the local Phillips School and later graduated from Paso Robles High School in 1956. In his sophomore year, he met Alberta Colburn, the love of his life. They married on May 12, 1957, at St. Rose Church in Paso Robles.

John and Alberta began their lives together in Whitley Gardens, starting Drake Farm Eggs. They produced and distributed eggs to local grocery stores and restaurants along the Central Coast of California. John was drafted into the U.S. Army on February 14, 1962, leaving Alberta and the chicken ranch behind to begin basic training at Fort Ord, California. After basic training, he was stationed at Fort Gordon, Georgia, and then Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he served as a military policeman. John ended his tour back at Fort Ord, California.

Upon returning from the Army, John and Alberta continued in the egg business under the name Drake Royal Farms. As the business grew, they acquired two more ranches in San Luis Obispo and Atascadero. The poultry operation the two of them created provided many first jobs to young kids from local families on the Central Coast.

After years of demanding work, John and Alberta retired from the egg business in 1989. At this time, they began a new venture working alongside their sons, Barry and Steven, who started Drake Farms Trucking. John and Alberta continued the Drake’s Royal Farm name by owning trucks that operated under Drake Farms Trucking. John mentored his sons, Bill, Barry, and Steven, in all the business ventures they took on throughout the years. He was not afraid of hard work, and he ingrained this trait in his family. John was a family man who enjoyed many years with his children and grandchildren. He will always be remembered for his kind heart, work ethic, and love for the people closest to him.

John is survived by his beloved wife Alberta of 67 years, son Bill (Adelina), son Barry (Deanna), son Steven (Susan), five grandchildren, Jonathan, Logan, Kellie (Joseph), Derek (Hannah), and Desirae, and many nieces and nephews.

Please join us in celebrating John’s life on Friday, April 5, from 1 pm to 5 pm at the Hunter Ranch Golf Course, located at 4041 Highway 46 East, Paso Robles, CA 93446.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to a charity of your choice. A few charities John frequented were Wounded Warrior Project, Tunnel to Towers, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.