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E. Thayer Drake

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“Dear Judy and Family,I was so very sorry to learn if Thayer's passing. I work at Healthtrax and always loved to see his warm smile come through the...Read More »
1 of 4 | Posted by: Elena

“Dear Judy,So sorry to read of Thayer's passing and extending to you and family my deepest condolences. I'm remembering a long while back our...Read More »
2 of 4 | Posted by: Sally Dengenis

“What a rich and wonderful life Thayer led and how many gifts he gave to this world! I remember him well from St. James Episcopal Church in...Read More »
3 of 4 | Posted by: The Reverend Hope H. Eakins

“Judy, I am very sorry with your loss of Thayer, my prayers and thoughts are with you. I am out of town Sunday so will not be able to attend service,...Read More »
4 of 4 | Posted by: Irene

Ervin Thayer Drake III, 93, a former Associate General Counsel for the Columbia Broadcasting System, died Monday evening, November 14, 2016, of complications from congestive heart failure at his home in Avon. Born in Ridgewood, New Jersey in 1923, "Thayer" was the oldest of three sons of Ervin Thayer Drake, Jr. and Elizabeth (Lum) Drake. He grew up and attended school in Chatham, New Jersey, before entering Harvard College in the Class of '44, where he was 3rd Marshall of his class, played varsity soccer and baseball, graduated with honors, and became a lifetime loyal supporter of his Alma Mater. World War II cut short his college education, and Thayer enlisted in the armed forces, where he served in the Army Signal Corps training African-American troops at Camp Crowder, Missouri. At the end of the war, he entered Harvard Law School with the Class of 1949. Following a brief stint with his grandfather's law firm in Newark, New Jersey, the Korean War broke out, and Thayer was recalled from the Military Intelligence Reserve; he was sent to Regensburg, Bavaria with his wife and newborn child to conduct visa screening interrogations of refugees interested in emigrating to the US under the Displaced Persons Act of 1950. Upon his return a year later, he joined the legal department at CBS at a time when radio was still bigger than television. He would stay with CBS until his retirement in 1987, logging an estimated 200, 000 commuting miles on the Croton-Harmon train line. A "people person" by nature, it was expected that his specialization would become "labor relations." His code for the labor lawyers who worked under him was simple—1) Get the facts straight; 2) Keep your promises; and 3) Don't hurt people. In the late seventies, he served as co-Chairman of the International Labor Relations Committee of the American Bar Association. A man of principle, Thayer believed in service and good citizenship. Outside of his career and his family life, he volunteered in numerous capacities. He was a volunteer fireman, he served on the board of a local orphanage, he was a vestryman in his church and taught Sunday school, he coached baseball, he served on a Board of Zoning Appeal, and the board of a visiting nurses association. In 1964, he contributed to a report on Fair Trials and Freedom of the Press that was commissioned in the wake of the assassination of President Kennedy. Expressing his personal philosophy in 1985 he wrote: "I have great faith in our heritage, in our institutions, and in the common sense of the people of the United States. High in my personal list of values, therefore, are the individual, family, schools and church – and a sense of humor. " He was an accomplished tennis player, and had a gift for line drawing. He will be deeply missed. Thayer leaves behind his cherished wife, Judith Wyman Drake; children Anne Bradley Drake, Robert Thayer Drake, Herrick Aiken Drake, Jr. (Mary Jo), Priscilla Solomon (Michael), Cynthia Drake (Jeff Browning); and four grandchildren, David Drake, Christopher Drake, Jennifer Solomon, and Morgan Browning. He was predeceased by his two brothers, Charles Lum Drake and Herrick Aiken Drake; by first wife Jane Quist Drake; and by a son, Charles Wyman Drake. Friends and family are invited to gather for calling hours on Sunday, November 20 from 1-3pm at the Carmon Funeral Home & Family Center, 301 Country Club Road, Avon. A memorial service for Thayer will be held following the calling hours at 3pm at the funeral home. A private burial will be held at Greenwood Cemetery at a later date. Memorial donations in Thayer's honor may be made to the Farmington Valley VNA, 8 Old Mill Lane, Simsbury, CT 06070, the Alzheimer's Association, CT Chapter, 200 Executive Blvd., Southington, CT 06489-1058, or the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675. For online condolences or to share a memory of Thayer, please visit

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