Steve Draper, 72
Steven James Draper, 72, passed away suddenly on his beloved Block Island, Rhode Island, on Oct. 30, 2020. Steve was the loving husband of Rita K. (Abrams) Draper, who survives him. He was the son of the late Rita (Foster) and Jack Draper, the brother of Laurie Day and her husband, Chet, and the son-in-law of the late Joan and Justin Abrams. Steve’s mother tragically died in a house fire when Steve was five years old, and Steve and his sister were raised by their grandmother, the late Gertrude Foster. He learned the importance of a dedicated work effort at an early age when he helped support his grandmother and sister, starting with a paper route at the age of nine.
For over 45 years, Steve lived on Block Island, first working at Ballard’s Beach Resort and then joining the Abrams’ family business, Block Island Resorts. Steve was the quiet force behind the operations of The 1661 Inn and the Oar Restaurant, supervising construction projects and maintaining the extensive physical plant. Steve utilized his degree in accounting from Pace University by managing the finances of the business. For 23 years he was an integral part of the Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race Week, which was headquartered at the Oar Restaurant.
Steve joined the New York Army National Guard in 1970 and served honorably for eight years. He was a reserve police officer on Block Island for many years.
In addition to his wife, Steve is survived by his sons Kyle Draper (and his wife Terin), Seth Draper and Ross Draper; and grandchildren Carmyn and Gavin. Steve’s true passion was his family. He insisted on family vacations during the winter away from the demanding business operations. Steve always stressed to his children the importance of treating everyone equally, regardless of their beliefs, jobs, and social status. Steve led by example — there was no job that was “beneath” him. That’s why you might find him lying on the floor of the kitchen at the Oar repairing the dishwasher during a dinner-time rush.
Steve is also survived by his brother-inlaw Mark Abrams and his wife Sonya; by his sister-in-law Susan Kenyon, widow of the late Rick Abrams; and by his nephews and nieces and their families, Kelly Debrocky, Joe Day, Sam Abrams, Jamie Day, Archie Abrams, Jeff Day, Stanley Abrams, Sydney Abrams and Philip Abrams. Steve offered quiet support to many of his nephews and nieces and dispensed wise advice at critical times in their lives.
Steve made many lifelong friends both on Block Island and in Mal Pais, Costa Rica, where he spent the winters, away from the cold, tending to his gardens and welcoming visits from family and friends.
Steve was an integral part of the civic community on Block Island and served on the Water Commission, the Sewer Commission, the Chamber of Commerce and the Block Island Maritime Institute.
He collected historical postcards, read extensively about Block Island history, and was an art enthusiast.
A Celebration of Life will be scheduled in warmer weather. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Block Island Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, Block Island, R.I. 02807.