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Frank Saxon Draper
March 31, 1938 ~ December 12, 2023 (age 85) 85 Years Old
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Frank Saxon Draper, 85, of Slaughter Beach, DE passed away Tuesday, December 12, 2023 in Lewes. Frank was born in Miami Beach, FL, the son of the late George Henry Draper, Jr. and Laura Salevan Draper, of Milford. He was a member of both the 1956 Milford High School Class as well as the 1956 Pine Crest Preparatory School Class (Fort Lauderdale, FL) where he graduated. Frank attended the University of Delaware, earning a BA in Agriculture in 1961. Upon graduation, Frank owned and operated the family businesses, Draper Canning/Draper Foods in Milford and Slaughter Neck. Later, he continued to manage the family farms. He owned and operated the Slaughter Beach Water Company, and was a managing owner of the Milford Diner. Frank served in the Delaware Army National Guard.
Frank was extremely social and loved the community in which he lived. As a result, he volunteered and served the Greater Milford Community in a variety of leadership roles throughout his life including MIlford School Board, Milford Trust Company Board of Directors, Mayor of Slaughter Beach, Mispillion Kennel Club Board of Directors, Milford Historical Society, and Founding Corporate Member of the Shawnee Country Club.
As a child, Frank spent the winter months in Golden Beach, Florida with his family and became an accomplished football, basketball, baseball, and avid tennis player at Pine Crest Prep School, under the direction of his infamous tennis coaches, Jimmy and Jerry Evert. As a result, he inspired his daughters and many of their friends to play tennis in Milford. Frank and his family donated the land and supervised the building of the first "Draper Recreation Area" tennis and basketball courts in Slaughter Beach and personally maintained them for the Town for many years. In addition, as Mayor, he spearheaded the replacement of the old Slaughter Beach Pavilion and bathhouses to their new location and design.
In addition to his athletic abilities, he shared an equal love for athletic fandom. Frank was a devoted, die-hard, and vocal fan of the University of Delaware Football program, the Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Orioles, his locally adopted Baltimore Ravens (Joe Flacco), and the Milford Buccaneers.
Frank enjoyed nothing more than working mechanically, telling a story for the first time (or second), sharing his sarcastic sense of humor, telling a story for the second time (or third), and most of all-uplifting those around him through his positive energy which always included smiles and laughter. Despite his often intimidating size and demeanor, Frank will be most remembered by those who love him for his conservative straightforwardness, and no-nonsense attitude that was always accompanied and overshadowed by true selflessness and an incredibly genuine and irreplaceable heart of gold.
In addition to his parents, Frank was preceded in death by his brother James Richard "Dick" Draper; two half brothers, Stephen G. Draper, and George H. Draper III; his in-laws, Enrico "Ric" and Anne Palomba; and a devoted extended member of the Draper family, Mildred F. "Millie" Huggins.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Marilyn Palomba Draper; two daughters, Laura "Laurie" Draper Carter (Nick) of Lewes, and Margaret "Peggy" Draper of Lewes; 4 grandchildren; James "Jed" Bell (Elise), Steven "Alex" Bell, Frank S. Carter lV, and Anne "Annie" Draper Carter; and 2 great grandchildren Peyton and Logan Bell.
Services will be private. The family suggests donations be made in Frank's memory to the Memorial Fire Company of Slaughter Beach, P.O. Box 868, Milford, DE 19963.
Arr. by Lofland Funeral Home, Milford. Letters of condolence may be shared with the family at www.loflandandmcknatt.com.