Richard Scott Drakeley unexpectedly left us on Sunday March 7, 2021 after his heart which had given so much, to so many, ultimately gave out. Ricky was born on May 15, 1973 in Boise, Idaho. He was raised by his loving parents William and Joyce Drakeley and grew up in Keizer alongside his big brother, Doug. He graduated from McNary High School in 1991. Rick cooked in the kitchens of several restaurants in the Salem area, and with the culinary skills he had honed, followed that big heart of his out to Minnesota, chef-managing at the Norway Ridge Supper Club and teaching his stepson Billy Sachs, 24, and stepdaughter Sydney Sachs, 25, how to ride their bicycles on his days off. He also welcomed his daughter Mena Drakeley, 17, into this world and with the pride and joy he had for Mena his heart grew even more.
His heart again led the way back West and he returned to Oregon, where he intended on opening a restaurant in Salem; fortunately for McMinnville he found the little restaurant space located at 411 NE Third Street. The address seemed like a good enough name and The 411 Eatery & Lounge was opened (okay, maybe that’s not the 100% true story behind the name). Rick was passionate about bowling and fortunately for Salem-Keizer’s bowling leagues, McMinnville is close enough that he was able to rejoin his father’s Monday nights bowling there, even scoring a couple perfect 300 games and giving him a darn good excuse to wear a bowling shirt any time he felt like it here.
It quickly became apparent Rick had not just opened a place for people to get sustenance, as something more dynamic happened within those four walls. What he had done was open a set of physical doors from his heart for complete strangers to become regulars. Regulars to become best customers, best customers to become friends, and friends to become besties. While simultaneously fostering applicants to become employees, and those employees to become family. He welcomed them all with open arms, an omnipresent wry smile, his famous bowling shirts (and if you were lucky) a purple suit made of Crown Royal bags, the occasional prom dress or a Scottish kilt and, of course, his infamous collection of Speedos he reserved for “special occasions” or, more realistically, any day that ended with the letter “y”.
Serendipitously, for Rick, his restaurant’s open doors had plans of their own for opening his heart. One day a beautiful red-haired girl with emerald green eyes named Katelyn (Flora) walked in and sat down at the bar with her friend, who like many others had become fast friends with Rick. His life was changed forever. Over time, Rick gushed to his friends and family that gathered at the 411 about this beautiful redhead that now owned his big heart. Katelyn and Rick were married on April 29, 2018 surrounded by friends, family and obviously his new-found 411 family. In May of 2019 together Rick and Katelyn welcomed their handsome son Greysin into this world. Greysin must have known that his dad was a special man, as he was so excited to meet his father, he decided to join this world a few months early Ricky’s heart was now full as his bride and his kids loved him as much as he loved them back.
To many, Rick is simply family, whether metaphorical or legally and simply referred to him as “dad”, “brother”, “son” or even “minister” at their weddings. Rick’s heart had a way of making everyone seem like they were his top priority. He never hesitated to stop and have a whiskey with you, sit down at the table to talk, jump in the car to deliver dinner, make a phone call, or send out a text message (no matter what time of day or middle of the night it was) just to make sure you felt important, make you smile or let’s be honest, occasionally just to make you cringe. Rick, in turn, considered his restaurant an extension of his home. Over the last year, the thing that hurt his giant heart the most about the pandemic was his inability to give everyone the hugs he’d become famous for, and to make sure to tell everyone “Alright, I love ya!” on your way out the door.
Rick’s heart gave everyone everything it had, and Sunday it failed him, leaving his family’s and “family’s” hearts forever filled with stories, memories, photographs and the pure love that only comes from someone who was more than just a tall man behind the bar in a polyester bowling shirt wearing a silly hat and probably a thong.
Viewing / Open house was held at Macy and Son funeral home on Sunday, March 14. Online condolences can be left at www.macyandson.com