To view Michael's Celebration of Life, Click Here. To view Michael's Tribute slide show, Click Here. "What we once enjoyed and deeply loved, we can never lose, for all that we love becomes a part of us." Helen Keller Michael Scott Drake was born in San Rafael, California to Nettie Barbara Gill and Earle Avon Drake on November 7, 1958. He was deemed a "Gerber" baby for his curly golden locks and infectious smile and giggle. His cuteness was only out-shined by his clear signs of intelligence. He spoke very early, loved to sing and dance and had much to discuss from an early age (what else would we all expect from Michael?). His father, Earle, graduated from Stanford University and served in the U.S. Army as a Captain. Earle was tragically killed serving in the Vietnam War when Michael was 7, leaving his mother Nettie, his brother Ken (age 6) and his sister Deanna (age 4) behind. Michael's life has always been filled with a great love of reading and an insatiable thirst for knowledge. As a teenager he attended a private, all male high-school, in Vallejo California and went on to study at the University of San Francisco pursuing an interest in culinary arts and history. Michael spent most of his life in San Francisco, where he embellished the San Francisco lifestyle and lived life to the fullest. He loved the City, his friends and all it had to offer. He continued his academics at the University of Washington where he earned a BA in History, then off to University of California Riverside where he earned his Master's degree. His final academic endeavor was pursuing his Doctorate at the University of California Riverside. This final academic journey was his most challenging but greatest accomplishment. This pride was clearly evident during his last few years teaching in China. He was happy! He had found his calling and was able to show off his keen understanding of culture, people and education. He had FINALLY accomplished his dream. His family could not have been prouder, and we are most thankful for everyone that supported and believed in Michael. Besides reading and education, Michael loved cooking, his large circle of friends, but most of all, he loved his mother Nettie. She was his best-friend, his rock, his dance partner - the epitome of an unbreakable and unstoppable mother and son bond. Michael shared an infectious humor - despite the mountains he climbed in life - and always arrived with a smile. He was a devoted and loving brother, uncle, son, mentor, friend, colleague, and teacher. A rare and unique jewel - and will remain in our hearts and memories FOREVER.