Michael Ferdinand Drawl, 29, of Indiana went home to be with The Lord on June 21, 2014 at his residence, surrounded by his family, after battling a long illness.
A son of Michael L. Drawl and Janis Rach Cope, Michael was born on January 25, 1985, and lived in Indiana PA his entire life.
Michael was a member of the Faith Temple Church, the YMCA of Indiana, Mack Park Pool, and LifeSteps. He received his High School Diploma with the Indiana School District. Michael loved listening to music. He was an avid swimmer, often getting into trouble for his "Dead Man's Float" in whatever pool he was in. He loved walks in the woods, listening to all types of music, eating out, and spending time with his family. Although Michael didn't play sports, he loved watching Steeler football, basketball, and the Olympics.
Michael had an amazing social circle. His friends at the YMCA were very special to him. He had a lot of compassion for his friends at LifeSteps and the workers, who helped him to enjoy daily community living and socializing. Michael had a strong circle of faith friends from many churches throughout this life. He was baptized at St. Bernard's Church in 1985, the received his First Holy Communion and Confirmation at the Saint Thomas Moore Newman Center in 1998. He loved listening to the teaching and preaching from first, Pastor Calvin Duvall of Twolick Baptist Church, who remains a dear friend of Michaels. Next, Pastor Rick Fritz of Harvest Church, who Michael listened to and vocally agreed with at every service for years. Then, Pastor Butch of the Church of the Brothern, who he remained in close relationship with for many years up to his last day, Pastor's Tammy and Scott Pieffer from DDM, who ministered faith and healing to Michael for many years. He had a very special spiritual connection with Prophet Chris Bowser over the years, and would succumb to laughing under the unction of the Holy Spirit. And finally to his church family at Faith Temple Church with Pastor Stanford A. Webb Jr, Elder Stanford A. Webb III, and his friend Mother Nell, who Michael would sit with on Sunday's for two hours and praise The Lord. He especially loved the Faith Temple Choir, who moved his spirit to worship and praise the Almighty God he loved so much. Michael also had many close spiritual relationships with evangelical ministers, who laid hands on him and believed with Michael for health and wellness in his life. Michael left this world, a healed son of God, with his family witnessing the healing of his facial tumors at his last hour. His family witnessed the love of God he had for people, and his God-like forgiveness, for people who did not understand him or like him because of his disabilities. Michael's family and true friends knew him by his abilities, not his inabilities.
Michael had many caregivers, who loved and guarded him over the years. Shane Wilkinson, Joanne Duvall, and John Morris, promoted Michael's life to a quality that permitted him to enjoy life to the fullest. John was with Michael for the last five years, accompanying him with his father and mother, to many outings that would otherwise have been difficult. Although John was Michael's caretaker, he and his wife Sandra were a friend, and strong prayer warriors for Michael. Joanne remained a friend to the end also, and a person that Michael could hardly contain himself when he saw her. He simply loved her.
Michael is survived by a father and mother chosen by God, to raise and support Michael every day of his life; to fight for his rights and fight for his life; to love him with the love of God that only God could put into their hearts. He has a step-father, Rick Cope, who loved him as his very own son. They had many prayers and times together. He is survived by a sister Nicole, who Michael adored and communicated with like no one else in the world. The love for his sister and his sister's compassion for Michael was transparent to all who knew them. Since his sister had left two hours before he passed away, Michael appeared with his angels over her bed at the time of his death, to say goodbye. His dear brother-in-law Tom was the witness to these infinite number of angels that entered the room, stayed for awhile, then left at the blink of an eye. Michael is also survived by two nieces, Nadia and Zoey, who accepted Michael, loved him and seeked him out, to talk and play at every opportunity.
Michael is also survived by his Grandma and Grandpa Janis and Ferdinand Rach (Pubsy and Papa) who were an unbelievable support for Michael, as Michael was for them. Michael helped Papa recover from surgery and was a companion and friend to him. Pubsy rarely missed any of Michael's school meetings, doctor appointments, or special celebrations. Michael's surviving Aunt's are Judy Laughlin (Jennifer, Thomas, Vivian), Jill Rach Beisel and Dan Beisel (Emily, Brian), Jeffrey and Sandra Rach (Julia, Diana, Brenden), Jimmy and Connie Rach (Katie, Emily, Charles) and Richard and Robert Drawl (Kristen, Kylee). They were all victims and accomplices of Michael's long standing hugs, nose honks, and whistles. Also surviving are his Grandma and Grandpap Mary and Harry Cope. His Aunt Mary Rach devoted the past 29 years to hours of daily prayer for Michael, and the family is now anxiously waiting to hear, who will acquire this time in her schedule in Michael's absence. Michael's other surviving Aunt Madeline, a twin sister to Mary, thinks she has the best shot.
Michael was preceded in death by his grandparents, Dolly and Bing Drawl, his aunt, Karen Drawl, an uncle, Jack Laughlin, Aunt Shirley and Uncle Chuck Reardon, and Aunt's Florence and Anna Prato.
Visitation will be held at the John Lefdahl Funeral Home on Thursday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8p.m. A final viewing and Celebration of Life service will be held on Friday at Faith Temple Church with the viewing from 10-11a.m. and the service at 11a.m.
Donations can be made to the LifeSteps Center of Indiana, located on Church Street, where Michael attended his day program, with his dedicated supervisors Chris and Denise, and all his friends he loved so much.