Gerald “Gerry” Drews, age 87, of Cambridge died unexpectedly April 28, 2020 at GracePointe Crossing The Gables. A private graveside service will be held at a later date at Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls.
Gerald “Gerry” Emil Drews was born April 14, 1933 in Staples, MN. He went to be with the Lord on April 28, 2020 at GracePointe Crossing The Gables in Cambridge, MN. He died unexpectedly at the age of 87.
Gerry was born to Emil and Anna (Kozitka) Draves (Drews) of Staples, MN. He was the fifth of eight children. Early in his childhood the family moved to Crosby, MN. Where Emil got a job as a mechanic in the mines. Gerry thought his mother was the best cook around. She could make something out of nothing. The family was very close.
Gerry quit school his junior year to join the Air Force. He finished his education in the service with an SAT score of 98%. He was honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1956. Almost immediately he enlisted in the Army. He was a proud Veteran of the Vietnam War. He finished his service career in the National Guards with 22 ½ years at Camp Ripley.
In 1969, Gerry bought a sanitation route in Annandale, MN. He moved his family there and shortly after his only biological daughter, Julie, was born. Gerry owned the sanitation business for 15 years all the while working hard to establish a respectable business. His trucks were frequently decorated and in the town parades. In 1984 he sold the business due to health concerns.
By 1987 Gerry had been working at the VA Hospital in Minneapolis, MN for a while when he met the love of his life Barbara Hackert. It was love at first sight. He was a custodian and she was a medical transcriptionist. They married July 14, 1990. By 1992 they both transferred to the VA Hospital in Tucson, AZ., where they retired. In 1993, Gerry’s first born grandchild, Jerry, was born and Gerry was immediately in love.
In 1996 or 1997 Gerry and Barbara became full time RVers traveling all over the U.S. and not staying very long at one place. They spent every summer in Minnesota visiting his daughter, Julie, and grandchildren. 2009 he became a Grandpa once again to Samantha and everyone who knew Gerry, now knew Samantha. Gerry and Barbara came to Minnesota in 2013 to stay, permanently moving into Mill Ridge Commons in Cambridge. They spent five years there before moving to GracePointe Crossing.
Gerry loved spending time with his family and his grandchildren were his pride and joy! He was never afraid of work and if there was a buck to be made, he was all over it. Buying and selling cars was a hobby of his as he always liked making a deal. Everyone was a friend and there was always a good (or bad) joke to tell. He had strong feelings about Jesus, the Lord and Savior, and Politics. Gerry also loved to mow the grass and to tinker with things, because he was full of ideas.
Gerry is preceded in death by his father Emil (Drews) Draves, mother Anna (Kozitka) Draves, sisters Deloris Sagehorn, Darlene Aune, Betty Salamon, brothers Stanley Draves, Charles Draves, Duane Draves, previous step grandson Jermey Triplett. He is survived by wife Barbara (Hackert) Drews Of Cambridge, MN, daughter Julie (Drews) Merchlewicz (Tony) of Braham, MN, previous stepchildren Candy Triplett (Gregg) of Annandale, MN Cathy Orr of Mansfield, TX, Gwen Phinney of TX, grandchildren Jerry Griggs (Alexa) of Moorhead, MN, Samantha Merchlewicz of Braham, MN, step grandchildren Mathew (Anna) Merchlewicz of St. Francis, MN, Ashley Hirsh (Eddie) of Braham, MN, great grandchildren Isaac, Maria, Andrew Merchlewicz and soon to be Emmitt Griggs. Five previous step grandchildren and brother Allen Draves of Minneapolis. Many nieces and nephews.