Dr. Richard “Dick” Lee Drury went to the Lord Saturday, March 30, 2019, at the age of 77, with his beloved wife, Nancy, at his side. Dr. Drury was born to Donald and Lillian Drury on June 27, 1941, in Springfield, Ill. Later, his family moved to Phoenix, Ariz., where he met his wife, Nancy Lee Wells, originally of Virginia. Dr. Drury graduated from West High School and attended Arizona State University where, upon graduating, he was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps. Dr. and Mrs. Drury were married at Trinity United Methodist Church in Orange, Va., June 17, 1961.
As a U.S. Marine Corps captain, Dr. Drury served as a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War assigned to Marine Observation Squadron 2 (VMO-2). He was hit by enemy groundfire and severely wounded in August 1966 while piloting a rescue operation. He was awarded multiple medals for his heroism and service, including recognition for one daring evacuation mission of 23 wounded Marines. His awards included two Distinguished Flying Cross medals and the Purple Heart. After recovering for a year at Portsmouth Naval Hospital, Dr. Drury received an honorable discharge, and he and Mrs. Drury then lived many happy years together raising their two children in Virginia Beach, Va.
In civilian life, Dr. Drury served in executive management roles in private industry for many years, and he earned a master’s degree in business administration (Old Dominion University) and a Doctor of Arts in education (George Mason University). He also served as the division director of the Continuing Education Institute for Management at Old Dominion University, and later as professor and director for small business programs and as director of the Small Business Institute at George Mason University. Dr. Drury also loved teaching masters level courses for many years at George Mason University. He also served as an associate dean of business at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, Va.. He authored several publications and was highly respected within the education arena.
Retiring in 2003, Dr. and Mrs. Drury built their retirement home on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where they continued to live many happy years together along the Chesapeake Bay. There, Dr. Drury served as an active member and chair of the Northampton County School Board, a member of the Eastern Shore Community College Board, and chair of the Educational Advisory Council for WHRO. He was also a co-founder and president of the Northampton County Education Foundation.
Among his many talents, Dr. Drury was an amazing musician well-known for playing the piano and singing. As the choir director for Bethel United Methodist Church in Jamesville for many years, he extended his great talent to the joy of the church in the glory of God. He also loved the outdoors and spent many happy times with family and friends fishing and boating on the Chesapeake Bay and many happy family vacations on the beaches of Avon, N.C.
Dr. Drury leaves an imprint on the hearts of so many in his roles as a beloved husband, father, grandfather and family man, friend, leader, teacher, and mentor. Most of all, he was a kind, loving, and caring man who made a true difference, and he will never be forgotten.
Dr. Drury is survived by his wife of 57 years, Nancy Wells Drury; his daughter, Lee Anne Drury McMurry (W. Thomas McMurry Jr.), of Maryland (granddaughters, Clare and Mary); his son, Robert Lee Drury (Carole M. Drury), of Maine; brothers, Donald Drury (Sandra), of Arizona, and David Drury, of Oregon; and brother-in-law, Robert H. Wells (Janice), of Virginia Beach. He is predeceased by his parents, Donald and Lillian Drury, and in-laws, Robert and Wyvetta Wells.
A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at Bethel United Methodist Church, Jamesville, Saturday, April 13, 2019, at 2 p.m. The family requests that donations in Dr. Drury’s honor be made to the Northampton County Education Foundation, P. O. Box 360, Machipongo, VA 23405.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.doughtyfuneralhome.com
Arrangements were made by Doughty Funeral Home in Exmore.