Obituary for Leonard “Len” Ray Draving

Leonard “Len” Ray Draving

We lost a good teacher today.

Leonard “Len” Ray Draving, age 85, passed away on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, in his residence.  Len was born January 21, 1934, in Peru, Indiana to Floyd and Florence and died February 19, 2019, leaving behind the love of his life, Beth, and their three sons.

Len married the former Elizabeth Ann Schneider on June 21, 1957, after meeting her at a fraternity party at Ball State University.  She, an Alpha Sigma Alpha already pinned to another fellow, couldn’t resist the quiet yet very intelligent wooing of Sigma Tau’s finest tennis player.

After graduating from college but continuing further education, Len and Beth both eventually moved to Michigan where they each became teachers.  Ultimately, Len retired from his classroom at Warren Cousino, 46 years after he began teaching.  Having spent years as chair of the Chemistry Department, he was honored with the Warren Education Association Teacher of the Year Award, a recognition of which Len was particularly proud because it came from the teachers themselves.

Education was not merely Len’s profession, but, as he often stated, his favorite investment.  Whether it was for his sons, grandchildren, or the families he and Beth sponsored on their many extended trips to Mexico over the years, their generous funding of tuition and books provided just the motivation for countless students to succeed, to become something they may have thought was not possible.  Teaching, Len said, was the profession that allowed others to have one.

Upon retirement, Len and Beth returned to Indiana and settled on Chapman Lake in Warsaw.  Len continued his passion for chemistry by working in conjunction with Chapman Lake Conservation Club to monitor the water quality for the lake he loved.  Many trips around the lake on the pontoon boat with several kids and grandkids in tow became priceless memories.  The kids finally got to see and experience Pee Island for themselves.  When a lucky fish successfully got the worm but missed the hook, he’d comment, “Well, Mr. Draving got cleaned out!”

The birds of Chapman Lake were indeed among God’s most fortunate creatures.  A recent interest led to Len providing shelter for local martins in his 24-gourd martin house.  He doggedly chased away sparrows hunting for their eggs, and ultimately fostered 64 fledglings by the end of Summer, 2018.

Len and Beth’s adventures took them all over the world, but he was never happier and no place was better than home.

Their three sons, affectionately nicknamed “The M&M Boys”, survive him:  Michael (Leanne) of White Lake, Michigan; Mitchell (Joan) of Lantana, Texas; and Matthew (Amy) of Bloomfield Township, Michigan.  Len will be dearly missed by grandchildren Ashleigh, Austin (Kiera), Justin, Nicholas, Emily, Colin, William, Joseph (fiancé Maria) and Ella.  Sister Mary Landes, sister-in-law Patricia Hill, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.

The family wishes to particularly thank Jerry Eaton, whose selfless and eager help these past many months has been invaluable.  Jerry showed the kind of neighborliness often mentioned, but seldom implemented.

Len’s usual message when saying goodbye to his sons, daughters-in-law and grandkids was, “Be good.”  To honor him, consider making a positive change today:  Repay a debt (or, better yet, someone else’s debt), tend to an animal, reach out to the less fortunate or extend a kindness to a stranger while expecting nothing in return.

A Christian service will be held on Saturday, February 23, 2019, at 12:00 p.m. (noon) at McHatton-Sadler Funeral Chapel, Warsaw, Indiana.  Father Jonathan Norton will be officiating.  Visitation with family and friends will also be on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to the time of the service (noon) at the funeral chapel.  Interment will be private.

There will be a celebration of Len’s life in southeastern Michigan in the spring. Date and time to be determined.

The family is requesting that the memorial contributions be made to either of the following organizations:  St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148-0142 or Smile Train, P.O. Box 96231, Washington, D.C. 20090-6231 both of which were special to Len and Beth and recipients of their support over the years.


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