Bill Drake (Source: J.F. Floyd Mortuary and Funeral Home)
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -
Well-known Upstate radio personality Bill Drake was laid to rest in Spartanburg on Monday.
Drake's memorable voice came across the airwaves for more than 55 years and was best known for his show "Awake with Drake."
He was a three-time winner of the South Carolina Radio Personality of the Year award, and was awarded with The Order of the Palmetto in 2004, South Carolina's highest honor.
The 73-year-old was known to be an active member of the community, conducting the "Battle of the Brains," a quiz bowl involving kids from 36 schools from four Upstate counties.
He also served as the producer, director and host of the Bill Drake Music Festival for 33 years and served as an adjunct professor of Public Speaking at the University of South Carolina Upstate for over 27 years.
Most recently he volunteered at the Spartanburg Soup Kitchen.
On July 14, friends and family gathered at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium to remember Drake.
"It was an honor to be with him and an honor to be here tonight. We're going to miss him, the whole community is going to miss him. He just was a treasure for Spartanburg," Drake's friend Gary Poole said.
On the day Drake was laid to rest, Spartanburg County deputies confirmed there was a report of a break-in at his studio.
Operations manager at WOLI-AM and FM Craig Debolt said the thieves smashed through a full length plate glass window to get into the building.
Debolt said once inside they took a couple of computers, a laptop, printer/fax machine and some antique radios.
He said Drake's property appears to be safe.
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