Annelise Lenz Drake
After a valiant battle with cancer and related illnesses, Annelise (Lise) Lenz Drake of Emigrant, Montana, passed away on Friday, February 22, 2019. She was 71 and comforted by family at the time of her passing.
Lise was born in Boston, Massachusetts on June 29, 1947 to Gilbert Lenz, MD and H. Elizabeth Lenz. While Lise was still quite young, the Lenz family relocated to Reno, Nevada. As the oldest of seven children to a prominent doctor and a renowned community leader in education, Lise often found herself at the forefront of helping to manage the chaos that comes with a family of nine. In doing so, Lise learned the virtue of hard work, compassion, and a selfless devotion to her family and loved ones which lasted a lifetime.
Like all Lenz children, Lise had a passion for music, reading, and the arts. As a talented pianist, she pursued a degree in music at the University of Nevada Reno and further graduate studies at the University of Arizona. In 1977, Lise and her young family relocated from the San Francisco Bay area to Montana, where she continued to share her passion, serving as the organist in multiple local churches, teaching music students, and introducing the local ranchers and cowboys to the wonder of classical piano sonatas. Following a decade as a single parent, Lise met Chris Drake of Emigrant, Montana, and they were married on August 8, 1993 in a tiny chapel overlooking Paradise Valley. She was always proud to call Montana home.
Occasional bouts of good-natured feistiness—typically around the holidays—flowed from Lise’s legendary sense of perfectionism and attention to detail, as well as her fierce loyalty to family, friends, and her beloved dogs. A strong competitive streak also showed itself during epic bouts of Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit and other games of intellect, attempting to best her husband, brothers, and friends in tall tales of hunting prowess, as well as whenever she had the chance to mention her prized garden.
In the end, Lise will be remembered most for her magnetic smile, inviting demeanor, engaging conversation, and her willingness to simply listen and be there for others. Whether attending a concert, fishing on Pyramid Lake, canning this year’s harvest, or watching the sun set across Tom Miner Basin, the most important thing for Lise was the people by her side. For her, the wonder and beauty in life emanated from the richness and splendor of relationships.
Lise is survived by her loving husband of 25 years, Chris Drake (Emigrant, Montana), her two adult sons, Clayton (Amy) Henderson (Columbus, Ohio), Collin (Chrissy) Henderson (Portland, Oregon), grandchildren (Chloe, Chiara, Caleb, and soon-to-arrive Sloan), mother, Elizabeth Lenz (Reno, Nevada), siblings John (Paula), Andrea (Scott), Mark (Ginny), Paul (Alice), Peter (Cissy), Joel (Bernadette), a multitude of nieces, nephews, and cousins, as well as countless friends, all of which miss her dearly. Lise’s family would also like to thank Tina and Frank Holland, Bill Jones, and Morris Bray for their love and selfless support over the last eighteen months.
Recognizing the size of Lise’s family and her friendships far and wide, two memorials (Emigrant, MT and Reno, NV) are being planned for the spring/summer so that those who were blessed to have known Lise may join together to celebrate life and relationships as she did.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Livingston Healthcare Oncology Department at: LHC Foundation, 320 Alpenglow Lane, Livingston, Montana 59047. Check donations may be made out to “LHC Foundation” with “Lise Drake Cancer Support” on the memo line.
Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and Crematory has been entrusted with arrangements.
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