Thomas Griffin Rake, 68, of Zionsville passed away surrounded by his family on March 29, 2022, after a long illness.
He was born on September 14, 1953 to Paul Frederick and Elizabeth Rake in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His parents preceded him in death.
He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Theresa (“Terry”) Titus Rake; his daughters Sarah Alexandra (Kole) Kleinrichert and Oliva Grace Rake; and her stepson, Jonathan (Melinda) Matthes.
Known publicly for his stage presence as a guitarist in a number of bands over the years, he very much owed his showmanship to his mother. When he was 1, while she was training as an actress, she dressed him as Winston Churchill for a parade – complete with a rubber cigar and a carriage ride.
When he was 6 years old, the family moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. Tom attended John J. Audubon School and became a love of music originating from that atmosphere. In keeping with his mother’s nature, Tom was always dressed for Mardi Gras and attended two weeks of parades every year this season. Memorable at this period of his life was an occasion when he was “apprehended” at the embankment by the railway police for placing stones on the tracks and being brought by them to his home where they, in the presence of his parents , appointed him honorary inspector. to ensure that no child, especially one like him, will ever play in this area again. Otherwise, he was a model child with few faults in quibbling, like fishing in the Audubon Park lagoon fish hatchery or occasionally snatching a ball on that park’s golf course.
In 1962 the family moved to Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The atmosphere was classic Andy Griffith, where Tom played in the woods, learned to love the family beagle, Gomer, and went to High Rock Lake to water ski and fish.
By 1964 the Rakes had moved again, this time to Evansville, Ind., where the grandparents lived and provided new experiences, including opportunities to visit the Clifford house above the Ohio River in Blue Bluff, where he learned to swim from Ohio to the “sandbar. Among other things, he played on the Hebron Elementary School baseball team with a notable home run for a team that would otherwise was losing every game. Boating on the Ohio River has become an important part of his life, but it has nothing to do with the guitar taught by his father, an accomplished musician. Having discovered this musical gene, as well as his mother’s penchant for showmanship, Tom became the leader of the Bossmenn Band from age 15 to 17, playing many venues in and around Evansville.
Tom’s enrollment at Indiana University was marked by his fellowship experience at Beta Theta Pi and later, his attendance at a freshman program abroad in Freiburg, Germany. Always popular with the guitar, Tom, also known as Hondo to his musician friends, was immediately hired to play in a German rock band, and that probably dominated his European studies with extensive travel. Eventually he returned to the United States and moved to Atlanta, where he pursued a musical career playing in different bands, often with opening gigs for better-known artists.
After 10 years of pursuing this dream, Tom returned to Indiana University where he earned an MBA. Thereafter, he held various financial and accounting positions, and he moved to Zionsville. In 1995 he married Terry at “the cabin” overlooking Ohio. She was instrumental in making many of Tom’s then more recent dreams come true, including bringing a stepson, Jonathan, into his life and giving him two daughters, Alexandra and Olivia. Many happy years followed with travels to nearly every state, including North Carolina and their beloved destination, Bald Head Island, and Europe, while simultaneously continuing to play lead guitar in several local groups and helping Terry plan and manage the company’s crowning glory. it’s Titus Bakery, a hugely successful three-site business.
Among Tom’s most significant personal attributes were a dry sense of humor; turning every quirk and disappointment in life into a stream of laughable moments; a show of empathy when it is most needed; an appreciative gracious kindness to those who knew him; a relentless curiosity about all the attributes of life; scholarship of some consequence; a wanderlust that had him always ready to go and travel; a practical love of family and family institutions; careful respect for doing things meticulously; a love of music and an understanding of harmony; a penchant for chasing a golf ball around 18 holes; a deep love of the many family pets; and courage and perseverance without complaining in the face of untold pain and immense suffering to continue life for the sake of the family and the future. Above all, he loved his family with everything he could muster, once telling a friend in a quiet moment, “They are everything to me, every single one of them.”
Also survived are Tom’s older siblings, Helen E. Rake, Philip C. Rake, and Paul A. (Jill) Rake, along with extended family and a list of friends too long to count.
The family is working to develop a scholarship fund in memory of Tom to benefit young musicians in Boone County. Details will be available as soon as it is finalized.
Visiting hours are scheduled for 3-7:30 p.m., Monday, April 4, 2022, with services scheduled for 11 a.m., Tuesday, April 5, 2022, all at Pilgrim Lutheran Church, 3650 W. 106th St., Carmel, Ind.
A one-hour visitation will precede the funeral.
Strawmyer & Drury Mortuary of Lebanon, Indiana handled the arrangements.