Mary Frances G. Landry Drake

Mary Frances G. Landry Drake, known to her beloved family and friends as ‘Fran’ passed away peacefully on September 6, 2022, in Southern Pines, North Carolina. She was 95.

Born on April 28, 1927, in Memphis, TN, Fran was raised by her parents, with her brother, Woodfin, who died in service in World War II.

As a young lady, Fran began a career as high-end clothing buyer living out of Memphis and found herself on trips to New York City and Chicago, bringing the latest styles from Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman’s to Tennessee.

After Memphis, Fran married her first husband, and they went north to live in the Washington D.C. area. He was killed leading a U.S. clandestine operation over Laos in the prelude to the Vietnam War. With her independent spirit, Fran served her country, and accepted a job working for the U.S. Government in Hanoi, Vietnam at the height of the war, where she met and married the late Colonel Robert Evans Drake, ‘Bob’ a West Point Class of 1944 graduate and highly decorated combat veteran of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.

After Vietnam, Fran and Bob moved to Southern Pines in 1973, and lived on a lovely ranch house on a hill, dubbed ‘Foxmoor Farm’. Fran worked as an interior designer. Together, they had an adventurous life in their 34-year marriage, both in Southern Pines, and beyond: when every year they traveled to faraway places, from Egypt to China.

Fran was active in the Southern Pines community. Together with Bob, they frequented Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Weymouth Center for Arts & Humanities, Moore County Hounds, and Pinehurst Country Club. Fran was an expert horse rider and participated in fox hunts and jumping, was a fine golfer with a smooth swing, a passionate gardener, skilled bridge player, impeccable dresser, superb cook, doting miniature schnauzer and Doberman pincher owner, a pillar at her church, a loyal friend to many, and a devoted wife to Bob.

After Bob’s death, Fran moved to Bell Meade retirement community in 2009 where she cherished many friendships.

Fran kept her family dear, including her cousins Lucy and Tina, her late brother-in-law Colonel Leland R. Drake, her late nephew Rodman L. Drake, her nieces Lenir and Joan Drake, and her nephews Gregory and Leland Fox, and her ‘boys’ Stephan and Philip Drake.

A memorial service will be held Emmanuel Episcopal in Southern Pines at a later date. Fran will be interned at West Point Cemetery at the USMA in New York next to her husband.

Online condolences may be left at

Services are entrusted to Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines.

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