Saturday, February 4, 2023

John C. ‘Pops’ Drewry III, 86, Episcopal deacon who lived a life of service

John C. 'Pops' Drewry III
John C. ‘Pops’ Drewry III

The Reverend John C. “Pops” Drewry III, 86, crossed over the bar to meet his Savior face to face Monday, June 3, 2019. He was born July 31, 1932, in Raleigh.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John C. and Mary Drewry (Cooper); son, Banks Holt Drewry; sister, Mary Holt Drewry Atkins; half-brother, David Jackson Cooper; and stepfather, David Jackson Cooper.

He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Gail Teer Farthing Drewry; daughter, Catharine Drewry Hedrick (Scott); son, John C. Drewry IV; and two granddaughters, Madeline Merritt Drewry and Lauren Elizabeth Hedrick.

John C. lived in Henderson and Columbus, Georgia. He attended Campbell College and transferred to UNC Chapel Hill, where he was a member of Zeta Zi fraternity and earned degrees in English and business administration. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.

He married Gail and moved from Chapel Hill to Raleigh to work for Great American Insurance Company and was instrumental in developing Drewry Hills.

He moved his family to Wilmington in 1961 and co-owned Coastal Plains Utility Company, Newell’s of Wrightsville Beach, the Lumina Corporation and Drewry Enterprises.

John C. was a past member of St. John’s Masonic Lodge, Scottish and York Rite, and was a 32-degree Mason. He was also a member of the Terpsicoren Club, Carolina Yacht Club, Cape Fear Country Club and the Surf Club.

He volunteered at the Good Shepherd soup kitchen, was elected to their board and served on the Executive Committee with two terms as chairman. John C. was instrumental in financing and building the Eugene Ashley Center for Veterans, where he and served as their chaplin. He was selected as Volunteer of the Year for New Hanover County and presented the Governor’s Medal of Excellence for volunteering over 20,000 hours.

John C. served as a lay reader for most of his adult life. He joined St. Andrew’s On-the-Sound Episcopal Church, where he served on the vestry for 27 years, 10 years as junior warden and three years as senior warden. He taught Sunday school, served on the Alter Guild and was an adviser to the Youth Council. He was ordained as a deacon in the Episcopal Church in 1997, held services in numerous churches, and was the resident deacon at St. Andrew’s until his retirement in 2014. He lived a “life of service.”

John enjoyed tournament and surf fishing, hunting, reading, watching western movies, cooking and working in his shop making gifts for friends and family. He adored his wife, family, friends, and especially, his granddaughters. He gave of himself and loved deeply.

A service will be held at 11 a.m., Friday, June 14, at St. Andrew’s On-the-Sound Episcopal Church with a reception following in the Parish Hall.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Andrew’s On-the-Sound Episcopal Church, 101 Airlie Road, Wilmington, NC 28403.

Share online condolences with the family at Andrew’s Mortuary & Crematory.

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