Much-loved Richard ‘Dick' Draper dies at 103

January 23rd, 2016 2:25 PM

By Jackie Keogh

Dick Draper: passed away in Skibbereen this week.

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THE death notice reads: ‘Sadly missed by his loving niece, cousins, Christian family, neighbours and many friends.’

Richard – better known as Dick – Draper had a good Christian family in the assembly who attended the Gospel Hall in Townshend Street, Skibbereen.

It sustained him into his 104th year, right up until his death on January 18th, when he died peacefully in the wonderful care of the staff and doctors at Skibbereen Community Hospital.

Dick was the husband of the late Sophie, and the much-loved uncle of Lilian. In 2012, his 100th year, he agreed to be interviewed by The Southern Star. It began with him saying it was a joyous event, one that he wanted to share with family and friends – they were the people who held him in the greatest of regard.

He had been reared on the family farm at Bawnard, but by that stage had been living in Skibbereen for almost 80 years and had enjoyed an industrious life.

Even after he retirement he kept busy and published a booklet of reminiscences – called Dick’s Musings – in his 90th year. Dick embarked on his business life during the lean years of the Second World War with the opening of The Utility Store – a shop that sold anything and everything that was useful.

Together with his wife Sophie – a woman with whom he shared 50 happy years – they set up a watch making and jewellery business in Bridge St

There is another interesting aspect of his life that stands out as being quintessential: Dick developed difficulties with his eyesight. It gave him the impetus to study optometry and he went on to become an ophthalmic optician.

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