Donna Drake

Donna Jane Drake (61) of Orlando passed on November 13, 2023 at the home she had shared with her family for nearly 25 years.

A lover of music, Donna’s first concert was KC and the Sunshine Band while her last was John Mellencamp. Donna was heartbroken at 14 when she missed the chance to see Elvis, but she made up for it by going to dozens of shows over the years. Some of her favorites were Prince, Kenny Rogers, Billy Idol, Smashing Pumpkins, Trace Adkins, Huey Lewis and the News, Zwan, Tears For Fears, Garth Brooks, Poison, Alabama, Bush, and Dolly Parton.

Donna also loved the crap out of movies and would often throw out a line from a quintessential 80’s classic in conversation – seriously, she was always demanding her $2. She had a standing order to reserve every new release from her local video store because the gal would watch just about anything. This and the hypervigilance she carried around like a security blanket since childhood meant that she could often figure out a film’s plot by the end of the first act. Her preferred genres were drama, action, and especially horror (she leaves behind a lovely little goober of a pug named Sidney Pugscott). She claimed that she didn’t dig romantic comedies, but it wasn’t uncommon to see her bawling her pretty blue eyes out at one, especially if it starred Sandra or Julia.

Donna’s quick wit had the power to entertain and/or offend, but her occasional sharp tongue was really just the wagging tail of a puppy dog. She always had altruistic intentions, but it’s difficult to cook a five course meal for others when all you have is a hot plate. A sensitive and kind heart, she once cried for the better part of a month after hitting a squirrel while driving a Thanksgiving dinner plate to a friend who was spending the holiday alone. No good deed ends without a dead squirrel.

Little tidbits about Donna:

  • she had 13 ear piercings, most of which were done with a needle and ice cube
  • she loved making personalized birthday cakes for her kids featuring pictures of their favorite musicians/movies with puns galore to boot
  • she cried at every episode of Grey’s Anatomy but ssh… don’t tell anyone
  • the beach was her happy place, as was intentionally getting lost on state roads while driving there
  • she made the tastiest no-bake cookies
  • she took her kids to see Dirty Dancing twice in one day – in different theaters
  • she nearly lost a pinky when she crashed her motorcycle into a ditch in the late 80’s
  • she never could decide if she was Team Edward or Team Jacob

An atheist since childhood, Donna didn’t believe in a heaven/hell afterlife. However, personal experiences made her partial to believing in ghosts/lingering energy. She would often joke about coming back to haunt people; I’m looking forward to it.

Donna is survived by family and friends who will always remember the way her laugh could echo wildly around a movie theater or be stifled into her belly, turning her face tomato red. Think of her whenever you find yourself driving around with the windows down on a beautiful day while blasting music. She’d be singing along if she were there with you.

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