Art Draeger, of Prior Lake, passed away November 7, 2019, at the age of 90.
Visitation is Wednesday, November 13 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Ballard-Sunder Funeral & Cremation (4565 Pleasant Street SE) in Prior Lake. Mass of Christian Burial will be Thursday, November 14 at 11 a.m. with visitation one-hour prior at St. Michael Catholic Church (16400 Duluth Avenue SE) in Prior Lake. Father Tom Walker will preside, and Art’s grandchildren will act as pallbearers. Military Honors will be provided by the Prior Lake Honor Guard (VFW Post #6208). Art will be laid to rest at Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis on Friday, November 15 at 10 a.m. (Assembly Area #1).
On Christmas Eve 1928, Arthur Douglas Draeger was born to parents William and Sybil (Starkey) Draeger. Art was the oldest of four children. He grew up on the family farm in Napoleon, ND where he developed a strong work ethic.
As a young man, Art was drafted into the Army, but he preferred a different branch of the military. So he enlisted in the United States Air Force. He worked as a mechanic for 24 years before being honorably discharged. Art was a true patriot and was proud to serve his country. During his service, Art was deployed to Africa and Thailand during Vietnam conflict. He also served temporary duties overseas in England and Germany.
While going to mechanic school in Boston for the Air Force, Art met the love of his life, Joan Verrill. The couple exchanged wedding vows on July 18, 1952. Their marriage was blessed with five wonderful children, Sharon, Michael, Richard, Ken and Tom.
The Draeger family moved around a lot because of Art’s military career. They lived in Louisiana, Newfoundland, Idaho, Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas before settling in the Prior Lake area. Every summer the family took camping/fishing road trips to see the rest of the country.
After retiring from military service, Art continued working as a mechanic and retired again after 20 years at Flying Cloud Airport. When Art truly retired, he and Joan were able to spend more time traveling in their 5th Wheel and seeing our great nation.
Art also spent a lot of time volunteering in the community. He was very involved with Boy Scout Troop 339. He served as the Boy Scout / VFW Liaison for many years. Art was an active member of the Prior Lake Honor Guard through VFW Post #6208. He also served as the Post Commander.
Art taught his family about respect and what it means to work hard. He was a pillar of his community and the pillar of his family.
He will be remembered always by his children, Sharon Draeger, Michael (Pamala) Draeger, Richard Draeger, Ken (Lislie) Draeger, Tom (Katie) Draeger; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; siblings, Sally Myster, Frank (Terri) Draeger, Patty (Butch) Hansen; half-siblings, William Draeger and Georgia DuFault.
Art was greeted in Heaven by his loving wife, Joan Draeger; and his daughters-in-law, Candy Draeger and Marion Draeger.
Arrangements by Ballard-Sunder Funeral & Cremation. www.BallardSunderFuneral.com