Lifetime Port Arthur resident and business leader, Joseph P. Drago, Sr. passed away on May 5, 2023, at Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital at the age of 84.
Joe was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 51 years, Brenda Drago. He was the oldest of four children; born to Philip and Concetta Drago on August 7, 1938. Joe is survived by his three siblings, Mary Drago Williams of College Station, Sam Parigi Drago and wife Hanna of Horseshoe Bay, Philip Drago, Jr. and wife Debbie of Horseshoe Bay, his four children, Stacie T. Lyons and husband Tim of Traveler’s Rest, South Carolina, Philip Drago, II and wife Deborah of Beaumont, Sarina Drago Hager and husband Fritz of Tyler, and Joseph P. Drago, Jr. of Nederland. Also surviving are his 12 grandchildren: Kevin and Caitlin Lyons; Abigail, Matthew and Michael Drago; Jack, Fritz, Henry, Joe, Lucy and Sam Hager; and Mackenzie Drago.
After graduating from Bishop Byrne High School, Joe attended college at Tulane University and, after graduation, went on to serve in the United States Coast Guard. He began his business career by joining his father in the family-owned, Drago Supply Company. Originally founded in 1931 by his father, Philip Drago, Sr., the company grew under Joe’s leadership to become one of the leading businesses in Port Arthur which, at its peak, operated branches in Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas until its sale in 2008. In addition to loving his work and his family, Joe was an avid sportsman who enjoyed hunting, fishing and golfing. Despite his sometimes rough exterior, Joe was also a fun-loving enthusiast of gardening, jitterbug dancing and his life-long quest to find the perfect Texas barbeque joint.
The family thanks Joe’s lifelong friends who have asked about him, prayed for him and visited him—especially during the years since Brenda’s passing six years ago, almost to the day, on May 3, 2017. He never went a day without loving her and we know the jitterbug music in heaven is blaring by now. His memory will always leave us with a smile.
Visitation will be held on Wednesday, May 10, 2023, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Levingston Funeral Home in Groves, with a Rosary at 7:00 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2023, at 11:00 am at St. James Catholic Church, in Port Arthur, with burial at Greenlawn Memorial Park. Donations in his honor may be made to St. James Catholic Church, 3617 Gulfway Drive, Port Arthur, Texas 77642.