Obituary of Reinhold E. Drews
Reinhold (Ray) Eldor Drews passed from life into the Lord’s presence on Monday January 29 at the age of 91. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, their son Wayne (Carolyn) Drews, and daughter, Nancy (Brian) Otto; grandchildren, Haley (Jon) Bonczyk, Alyssa Otto and Greg Drews, and great grandchildren, Karis, Sutton, Jamie and Chase Bonczyk. He was predeceased by his sister, Margaret Drews, but leaves behind siblings, Herb Drews (Marion) and Mary Bodener (Clarence), as well as several cousins, nephews and nieces.
Reinhold Eldor Drews was born the oldest of four children, in a small, sparsely populated, farming community north of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. His newly married parents had emigrated from Poland speaking only German and possessing little material wealth. They were willing and hard workers, ready to turn the uncut land into suitable farming acreage. Throughout his boyhood, Ray was required to help with the work on the farm. The harshness of this life and his desire to learn were the impetus to dad’s keeping up with his studies and his educational aspirations. At the age of 15, Ray’s dad led him to accept Jesus as his Savior.
In the 1940s the Drews family moved west to the mild climate and fertile Fraser valley in British Columbia, Canada. As Ray had determined many years before in the one-room schoolhouse and prairies of Alberta that higher education would be his goal, he began his studies at the University of British Columbia at Vancouver. It was during these years of schooling that he met his future wife at an Inter-varsity Christian Fellowship Bible study. Ray went on to earn a PhD in Physics and Math from University of California, Berkeley.
Ray started his profession in San Diego with General Dynamics, but it wasn’t long before he moved his young family to Rochester whereupon he began a 34 year long career with Xerox in their research and development division. His early years at Xerox focused on research in solid state physics but he spent the majority of his tenure there on photoelectrophoretic imaging, better known to the lay person as the Xerox copier.
Ray was a do it yourself-er before it was popular, sand blasting the paint off an entire car and repainting it in his suburban garage. Other hobbies included woodworking as well as photography. He was also an adventurer whose love of travel and desire to see the world took him to five of the seven continents. It also took his family on 5 week cross country trip across the states confined in a modest trailer and wood paneled station wagon. It took several years for the teenagers on that trip to fully appreciate the experience.
Ray had been involved in the church since youth and continued this involvement throughout his life. He sang in the choir, participated in the Evangelism Explosion outreach, attended Bible studies, served as an elder, and went on two missions trips to France. He also loved to greet newcomers at the church door and encourage them to make Browncroft Community Church their church home. It was important to Ray to lay down a Biblically based foundation for his family. He did this by insisting that they attend service, and youth groups where Scripture and the centrality of Jesus Christ was taught, and by living an exemplary life. We are grateful to know Ray is now in heaven because of his reliance on the atoning work of Christ on the cross.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 17 at Browncroft Community Church at 3pm.
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