Natalie Agnes Drake, 95, passed away peacefully June 5th at home. Natalie was born on February 23rd, 1923, in Oakland, CA, and was the first child of Mieczyslaw (Milton) Smialkowski and Camille Stokes.
Natalie married Emory Lee Drake on May 3rd, 1942. When Lee was deployed overseas during WWII, Natalie enlisted in the US Marine Corps Women Reserves and served two years on active duty. After Motor Transport School at Camp Lejeune, NC, Natalie was assigned to the Marine Detachment at Bremerton Naval Shipyard, WA, where she chauffeured the Marine Detachment Quartermaster to events in the Seattle area. Natalie was honorably discharged in 1946 at the rank of Corporal. At the end of WWII, when Lee returned from the Army, Natalie and Lee settled in Vallejo where they lived over sixty years. In 2008, Natalie and Lee moved to the Meadows of Napa Valley where they celebrated their seventy-fifth wedding anniversary with their family in 2017.
Natalie was a homemaker and enjoyed cooking and sewing, making most of her own and her daughter Susan's clothing for many years. Natalie was very active at St. Basil's Catholic Church, with the National Council of Catholic Women, and volunteered in many community programs.
Natalie is survived by her husband, Lee, her daughter Susan (Thomas) Walsh of Rolling Hills Estates, CA, and her son, Kenzia (Mickey) Drake of Napa, five grandchildren (Jeffrey, Mark, Sheri, Theresa, and Sean) and seven great grandchildren, one currently on active duty in the Marine Corps.
A Celebration of Life Mass will be celebrated at St. Apollinaris Catholic Church, Napa, on Tuesday, June 12th followed by private burial in Vallejo.
Words of sympathy may be sent to the family on-line at WWW.TULOCAYCEMETERY.ORG