Colonel Hazen Ronald (“Dru”) Drury was born July 22, 1924, in Preston, Idaho, and died after a lengthy struggle with cancer at the age of 93 on Jan. 8, 2018, at the Grace Assisted Living Center in Meridian, Idaho. He was the third of nine children born to Henry James and Sarah LaVeda Smart Drury. Raised in Fairview, Idaho, Dru graduated from Preston High School in 1942 and subsequently married his high school sweetheart, Jeanette Marie Barton, in Boise, Idaho in Jan. 1943 while in training prior to commencing his military service during World War II. They were sealed for time and all eternity in the Logan, Utah LDS temple on April 30, 1943. When Jeanette died unexpectedly in June 2016, they had been married for 73 and a half years. Now, after a year and a half of temporary separation, they are finally back together again forever. What a reunion that must have been!
Dru had two great loves in his life. The first, of course, was his life’s sweetheart, Jean. Their devotion to each other over the course of their married life together was both touching and admirable. From the time they first began dating steadily during high school, they were seldom apart if they could possibly help it. His second great love was the Army. He discovered during his World War II service that he had a gift for military administration and a strong desire to continue his military service. However, when the USA demobilized most of its military forces after the conclusion of World War II, Dru was discharged from the Army. After moving to Preston, Idaho, he and Jean welcomed three sons into their home, one of whom—Ronnie—died at the age of 2 years while they were living there.
When the Army began to expand again with the onset of the Korean War, Dru eagerly seized the opportunity to re-enter the US Army. After serving at Fort Ord, California and completing Officer Candidate School, then-Lieutenant Drury completed successful assignments in Ulm and Schwabbach, Germany and a final active duty tour at Fort Lewis (Tacoma), Washington. Along the way, he and Jean welcomed two more sons into their growing family. Following his release from the Army in 1957, Dru moved his family to Ceres, California for a year, and then to Boise, Idaho in 1958, where he and Jean made their home ever since. He continued his military career with the US Army Reserve, eventually retiring at the age of 60 with the rank of a “full” Colonel. After working in a variety of other jobs during his years in Boise, he eventually became a civilian administrator for the 6228th US Army Reserve School. This was the job from which he finally retired after many years of devoted service.
Dru and Jeanette had a total of five sons: Robert (“Bob”), Henry Ronald (“Ronnie”), Richard (“Rich”), David (“Dave”) and Patrick (“Pat”). All of them, except for Ronnie who died in 1950, are married now with families of their own. Throughout their married life, Dru and Jean remained intensely devoted to their family. As their sons grew up, they enthusiastically supported and watched them participate in a variety of athletic events, concerts and Church activities. As they married, Dru and Jean welcomed daughters-in-law, grandchildren and eventually great-grandchildren into their growing family. The Drury family became a large tent with many poles and stakes, and they loved being in the middle of it.
After Dru’s retirement in the mid-1980s, he and Jean re-oriented their lives and began some 30 years of devoted Church service together. They completed two different missions away from home, in San Jose, California and Olive Hill, Kentucky. They also fulfilled several local Church service missions in and around the Boise area and held a succession of callings in their local LDS ward and stake. Through all of this, they remained devoted to their children and grandchildren. Their home was a welcoming place for members of their immediate and extended families, where love and food were freely given to one and all.
Dru and Jeanette’s surviving family include their children: Bob and his wife, Lynell, in McKinney, Texas; Rich and his wife, Judy, in Eagle, Idaho; Dave and his wife, Susan, in Sandy, Utah; and Pat and his wife, Cindy, in Meridian, Idaho, along with 21 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren. Dru is also survived by two younger sisters, Rama (Drury) Griffeth of Rexburg, Idaho and Phyllis (Drury) Bair of Lewiston, Utah.
The family would like to thank the staff, other residents, and caregivers at Grace Assisted Living in Meridian and First Choice Hospice for their friendship and loving tender care for Dad during his time with them. He often said how grateful he was for the wonderful people he was with each day. Thank you for helping him to spend his final months and graduate from mortality in peace and dignity.
Viewing will be conducted at Relyea Funeral Chapel, 318 N. Latah St., Boise, on Mon., Jan. 22, 2018, from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Tues., Jan. 23, at 11:00 a.m. at the LDS Church at 3020 W. Cherry Ln., Boise. There will also be viewing at 10:00 a.m. before the service. Final interment for both Dru and Jeanette will be at 11:00 a.m. on Wed., Jan. 24, 2018 in the Fairview Cemetery in Fairview, Idaho.