Batavia, NY — Larry I. Draper, 76, of Cheektowaga, N.Y., died Sept. 26, 2020.
Mr. Draper was born in Warsaw, N.Y., grew up in western New York, and after leaving school, joined the United States military and proudly served his country during the Vietnam war. After his term of service was over, Mr. Draper returned home to his family and worked hard to support them. But he also got involved in harness racing, first getting his license in 1975 and then buying his first horse, Lady Chilton, that same year.
Mr. Draper remained involved in the sport for the rest of his working life as both a driver and trainer and always had a horse or two that he campaigned each year for 39 consecutive years. Mr. Draper drove his last race in 2013 and trained his last horse the following year, however he kept both of his licenses current.
Mr. Draper was the beloved husband of Donna M. (nee Fridey); devoted father of Jennifer (Trevor) Sajdak, Robin (Michael) D’Agostino, Justin (Ashley), Michael and the late Michael David; cherished grandfather of Savina Maria, Dallas McKenna, Jaxx Michael and Jace Michael; loving son of Elva (nee Weber) and the late Ivan; dear brother of Gordie (Sandy), James (Betty) and Darlene (Kevin) Heinrich; and is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends may visit the Lombardo Funeral Home (Snyder Chapel), 4614 Main St., near Harlem Rd., on Thursday (Oct. 1) from 3-7 p.m. Military Honors will immediately follow. Interment at Fairview Cemetery.
Flowers gratefully declined. Memorial contributions may be made to the VA of WNY.
Online condolences at www.lombardofuneralhome.com.