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Western NY horseman Larry Draper, 76, dies

September 30, 2020

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Larry I. Draper of Cheektowaga, NY, entered into rest on Saturday, Sept. 26. Mr. Draper was born in Warsaw, NY, and grew up in western New York and after leaving school, joined the United States military and proudly served his country during the Viet Nam 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 to this day.
Mr. Draper was the beloved husband of Donna M. (nee Fridey) Draper; devoted father of Jennifer (Trevor) Sajdak, Robin (Michael) D'Agostino, Justin (Ashley) Draper, Michael Draper and the late Michael David Draper; cherished grandfather of Savina Maria, Dallas McKenna, Jaxx Michael and Jace Michael; loving son of Elva (nee Weber) and the late Ivan Draper; dear brother of Gordie (Sandy) Draper, James Draper (Betty) and Darlene (Kevin) Heinrich; 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 from 3-7 PM. Military Honors will immediately follow. Interment Fairview Cemetery. Flowers gratefully declined. If desired, donations may be made in Larry's name to the VA of WNY.
Online condolences at www.lombardofuneralhome.com.
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