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Friday, May 6, 2016

Pete Droke

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Pete Droke
H.W. "Pete" Droke, son of the late Otis Reed and Bertha Mae Curry Droke, was born Aug. 16, 1925 in Hornersville, Mo., and passed away Saturday, Jan. 20, 2007, at Arkansas Methodist Hospital in Paragould, Ark., at the age of 81 years. He was married to Bette Reel on Nov. 4, 1944.

Survivors include his wife, Bette Droke, of Hornersville, Mo.; three sons, Chris Droke and wife, Wilma, of Hornersville, Mo., Steve Droke and wife, Donna, of Hornersville, Mo., and Stan Droke and wife, Susan, of Cordova, Tenn.; one daughter, Penny McLarty and husband, Jim, of Hornersville, Mo.; one sister, Mary Madden, of Kennett; 10 grandchildren, Jason Droke and Skyler Droke, both of Hornersville, Jackie McCormick, of Kennett, Caley Droke, of Kansas City, Chelsey Droke, of Jonesboro, Ark., Brad Droke, Andy Droke and Angela Goldbert, all of Memphis, Mallory Droke, of Orlando, Fla., and James R. McLarty, of Greenland; four great-grandchildren, Lauren McCormick, of Kennett, Cody West and Casey McKenna, of Hornersville and Nathan McLarty, of Colorado Springs, Colo., and one great-great-grandchild, Jordan Crawford, of Kennett. He is also survived by many other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by one son, Timothy Wayne Droke.

Pete was a prominent member of the community and a farmer. For a time he and his wife Bette operated Hornersville Agri Services and upon his retirement from that he continued to be a part of Droke Farms in a day to day advisory capacity to his son Steve. Mr. Droke was proud of his community and was never one to say no to a good cause. He was always active in political and community affairs and participated in many organizations revolving around these interests. He was a member of Hornersville United Methodist Church. He was an original member of the Farmers and Merchants Club and served on the Senath-Hornersville School board for a number of years. Pete was a member of the U.S. Army, and served in the pacific theatre during World War II in which he received Good Conduct medal, two Overseas bars, Victory ribbon, American Theatre ribbon, Asiatic-Pacific Theatre ribbon with one Bronze Star, Philippine Liberation ribbon, and was an active member of the Hornersville American legion Post 362.

Being a friend to most charities, Pete served on the Board for the Girl Scouts of America, and was a major supporter and fundraiser for this organization. He also served several years as a local representative for the Annual United Cerebral Palsy telethon held on KAIT in Jonesboro. Mr. Droke, along with Charky Martin, was instrumental in getting the Delta Children's Home Annual Auction established. He was also associated with Gideons International for several years.

With all these interests his heart was always in the Southeast Missouri cotton fields, and he knew the concerns and plights of area farmers first hand. As such, he worked in several organizations to help agriculture in our region. He was a member of NFO, National Farm Organization, and a board member for the Dunklin County Farm Bureau. He served on the board of directors of Staple cotton and on the Del-Prima Cotton Board. On several occasions he lobbied on behalf of agriculture, not only in Jefferson City, but in Washington, DC and in 1983, was a part of an Agricultural Trade Mission, sponsored by President Ronald Reagan that toured China on behalf of the American Cotton Industry.

Perhaps, the achievement of which he was most proud was that he was a founding member and first president of Cotton Producers of Missouri. His peers from this organization described him best in a plaque presented to him on Jan. 23, 1982, when they said, "Pete is a big man -- big in brawns and brains. He is big in dreams and big in the talents necessary to make dreams come true. He dreamed that Missouri cotton producers were in most vital need of a strong and viable organization that could represent them in the halls of government and congress. Then bulldozing over, around or under one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after he made the dream come true."

For these things he will be remembered and missed by his friends, family, community and colleagues.

Services were held at 2 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2007, at Hornersville Methodist Church with Rev. Jim Pemberton officiating.

Burial was in the Dunklin County Memorial Gardens in Kennett.

Pallbearers were family members.

McDaniel Funeral Home of Hornersville was in charge of arrangements.