Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs made his mark on Mount Vernon. Many in town made their mark on him, too. Wirfs and his mother, Sarah, took The Gazette on a tour of his hometown, revisiting scenes around what essentially is the one square mile where he grew up. This story is a little about what can hold you back. This is mostly about what moves you forward.

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Michelle Drake

MICHELLE DRAKE
Riverside

Michelle Drake, 40, of Concord, N.C., passed away suddenly Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. She was born in Iowa City on July 19, 1979, to Richard and Rita Lear.
Michelle was a 1997 graduate of Highland High School in Riverside. She went on to Iowa Wesleyan in Mount Pleasant on a volleyball scholarship, graduating with a degree in marketing.
In 2003, she married the love of her life, Casey Drake. They had three beautiful children, Talan (14), Hannah (10) and Kahne (7).
Michelle was employed by CF Parks Inc. as director of operations, a recent major promotion. She just completed certified the financial planner education requirement, which is a two-year process, and also completed the Advanced Topics symposium in Boston, Mass.
Michelle wore many hats. She was a racing mom, football mom, soccer mom and on the board for the Odell Recreation Association.
She leaves behind her loving husband, Casey; and their three children, Talan, Hannah and Kahne; her parents, Richard and Rita Lear; her sisters, Laura (Dan) Striegel, Stephanie (Mark) Lear, Lisa (Dean) Humke and Dixie (Andy) Abbott; and her nephews and nieces, Cody (Brittnee) Schneider, Kyle (Katrina) Schneider, Colton Schneider, Michael and Lauren Mitchell, Brandon and Tyler Striegel and Bryce and Cole Abbott.
Michelle was preceded in death by her grandparents, Joe and Leona Lear and Melvin and Virginia Chenoweth.
Michelle in her short time on earth lived life fuller than most. Through volunteering, traveling and having adventures with her family, she was the life of the party and everyone gravitated toward her fun and spontaneous personality. Whether you knew her for 10 minutes or 40 years she was going to make you have fun and probably get you onto a dance floor or singing karaoke.
Iowa visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 15, at Sorden-Lewis Funeral Home in Riverside. Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 16, at American Legion Post 457 in Lone Tree. Burial will take place at Lone Tree Cemetery with a luncheon to follow at the American Legion Post 457.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Drake Family at Green State Credit Union in Iowa City.
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