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Arthur K. Drackley

Arthur K. Drackley, age 98 of Tracy, passed away on Monday, March 16, 2015 at the Prairie View Senior Living in Tracy.Funeral Services for Arthur Drackley will be held at 11AM on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at Tracy United Methodist Church in Tracy, MN. Visitation will be held on Friday, May 8, 2015 from 5-7PM at the Almlie-Horvath Funeral Home in Tracy and one hour prior to the funeral at church on Saturday. A prayer service will be said starting at 7PM on Friday evening at the funeral home. Online condolences may be placed at www.almliefh.com. The Almlie-Horvath Funeral Service of Tracy is caring for the family. Arthur Drackley, honored educator, author and farmer, passes at 98. Arthur K. Drackley, 98, who 16 months ago was honored as the oldest-ever inductee to Tracy High School’s Wall of Fame for his teaching, passed away on March 16, 2015, at Prairie View Nursing Home. He taught English in the Tracy Public Schools from 1961 until he retired in 1979, and previously taught in public schools in Ceylon, Balaton, Mountain Lake, and Tyler. He farmed south of Tracy for 70 years. A prize-winning poet and short-story writer, he published a book of his poetry “Prairie in my Pocket,” and in 1986 Drackley was awarded first place by the National Writer’s Club for his novel, “Thistle Man.” Writer’s Digest magazine recognized his work, and he published many poems and short stories throughout his life. He also penned an unpublished full-length non-fiction work on farming methods “How We Did It Then: A Memoir of Minnesota Farm Life.” Born June 13, 1916, in Marshfield, Wisconsin, Arthur Kenneth Drackley then lived in Menomonie, Wisconsin. When his family moved in 1926 to Tracy, Minnesota, 10-year-old Art and his older brother Bill journeyed there in a railroad emmigrant car – accompanying his family’s hired man, livestock and the family dog Jack. He graduated from Tracy High School in 1933, attended Tracy Junior College, entered Winona State University (then Winona State Teachers College) in 1939 and earned his bachelor’s degree in 1941. He was the first in his family to attend college. His teaching career began in Ceylon in 1941 and continued in Balaton and Mountain Lake until 1945, when he became a full-time farmer until 1959 – the year he resumed his teaching career in Tyler and two years later in Tracy. He lived on his farm south of Tracy continuously from 1945 until 2013. An active member of Tracy United Methodist Church for nearly his whole life, he directed the church’s choir for 44 years, was a choir member for 79 years, and an active Sunday school teacher and lay speaker. He performed as a vocal soloist in community and church events, and was a member of a male quartet that won a state-wide Minnesota Methodist Church contest. Drackley loved nature. He was an avid conservationist, environmentalist and bird watcher, and he often visited and supported open-prairie preservation areas. For nearly seven decades, he lived on his farm – preferring country life where he found solitude and time to enjoy reading and writing. He believed that family is the foundation of existence and that faith is its bedrock. His wife of 63 years – Charlotte (Shannon) Drackley – predeceased him in 2004. He is survived by two daughters, Barbara, (Mrs. Max F. Volkmann) of St. Louis, Missouri, and Colleen (Mrs. Robert Jolly) of Ames, Iowa; two sons, Richard (husband of Linda) Drackley of Decorah, Iowa, and James Drackley (Tonya Moore) of Urbana, Illinois; 10 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

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