Robert Murice Drewry – Obituary

by Lynn McMillen
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MauriceRobert Murice Drewry passed away peacefully at home on October 20, 2013. He was born on November 28, 1923 in Haleyville, Alabama to Murice Segley Drewry and Etha Stephens Drewry. He had one older sister, Clara Drewry Miller. His father served Haleyville in many capacities: as freight agent, builder, lender, real estate investor, and mayor. As a boy in a small Southern town, Bob led an idyllic life, making most of his own toys with his friends, shooting slingshots, flying kites, playing marbles, washers, and wandering through the woods. He had his first job at age twelve, working in the local drug store for $1 a week. As a boy he discovered his passion that would remain with him throughout his life: airplanes and flying. Bob first became enamored by the barnstormers that landed near Haleyville. He and friends built gasoline powered airplanes, and he learned to fly in a friend’s 40 hp Taylorcraft as a teenager.

Bob graduated from Auburn University in 1945 with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering, and earned his private pilot’s license. While a student there, he first fell in love with a photograph of a beautiful freshman girl, Margie Wilson, wrangled a dance with her at the “President’s Birthday Ball” (Roosevelt), and convinced her to marry him ten months later. They celebrated their 67th anniversary in October, 2012, after a lifetime as partners, lovers and friends. Since war was ending, and jobs were scarce with so many men returning to the workforce, Bob and Margie returned to Haleyville where he first worked doing maintenance on his father’s rent houses, then built and operated the Hotel Drewry. There their two children, Dale and Bob, were born. Ten years after his graduation from Auburn, he finally got the opportunity to work in the aircraft industry.

The family moved to Fort Worth, Texas in 1955 where Bob began work as Junior Engineer at what was then Convair (later General Dynamics, now Lockheed Martin). He worked in the Performance Department on the B-36, B-58, 125-A (a nuclear powered aircraft), F-111, and the F-16. He and Margie built one of the first houses in Ridglea Hills, where there were at the time no paved streets or utilities and very few trees. He advanced to become Chief of Aerodynamics and Performance, then finally to International Program Manager. In this position, he travelled to Austria, Venezuela, and Indonesia, selling F-16s, training personnel and providing in-country support. Margie was able to accompany him on many of his trips and they enjoyed travelling together all over the world. He retired after 37 years with the company, then spending his time volunteering at the Museum of Science and History, Habitat for Humanity, serving in various capacities at Broadway Baptist Church, where they enjoyed longtime, active membership and had many friends, having fun and adventures with his grandson Tye, and continuing to travel with Margie, his best friend and the love of his life.

Throughout the years in Texas, Bob and Margie continued to travel back to their homeplaces in Alabama visiting relatives and friends. He dearly loved Texas and Fort Worth, but always missed the deep woods of Alabama. In 2012, they moved to Austin to be near their daughter, son-in-law and grandson. Bob was preceded in death by his sister, Clara Miller, and his loving wife Margie in November, 2012. He is survived by his daughter Dale and husband Roy, of Austin, his son Bob and wife Christine, of Brighton, Michigan, his grandchildren Tiffany Neal of Vail, Colorado, Tye Truitt and Lia Pette of Austin and Beth Riggs of Brighton, Michigan and his nieces and their families: Konnie Thrasher, of Haleyville, Alabama, and Dolores Sparks, Susan Ledbetter and Janet Kennedy of Red Bay, Alabama.

Bob lived a wonderful, full life, and will be remembered for his gentleness, kindness, humor and humility, his devotion to his family and his love for his church and Lord.

The family is grateful to the wonderful staff at the Summit Westlake in Austin, and Hospice Austin. Services will be held at the Pinkard Funeral Home, Haleyville, Alabama, at 3 pm Saturday, Oct 26, with Dr. Jim Cooley officiating, with visitation from 2-3, and burial at the Hillcrest Cemetery in Haleyville.

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