Obituary for Robert Drews MD
Born September 9, 1930; born and lived his entire life in St. Louis.
Passed May 9, 2017
He was childhood sweetheart and beloved husband to the late Lorene Drews nee Loewenguth.
Father of Pamela Breitberg (Steven), Belinda Laupp (the late Timothy), Carl Drews (Deborah), and Jeanmarie Mertens (John).
Grandfather of Stacey, Rebecca, George, Jennifer, Sara, Michael, Christopher, Steven, Robert and James.
Great Grandfather of Brennan, Wyatt, Madison, Connor, Lillian, Madeleine, Josephine, and Victoria.
Son of the late Leslie and Sarah Drews.
Through his example his children learned the strong positive impact that an individual may have on their family and community. Fellow Ophthalmologists considered him: “Generous and unselfish”, “relentless pursuit of knowledge and understanding”, “the quiet giant of ophthalmology”, “unquestioned integrity”, “accurate, unbiased, and consistently reliable”. Dr. Drews once said, “I think it’s very important to be involved in helping others as much as you can with their needs.”
His philosophy of “think globally and act locally” is evidenced through his curriculum vitae shared by James Bobrow, MD at the Presentation of the James K. Butler Award in 2006. “He was member of 32 societies and 38 boards, serving as president of 11. He received 22 international medals and honors and delivered 11 named lectureships. He wrote 485 articles, chapters and letters and served as editor or reviewer for multiple publications, both in the United States and around the world. He learned Spanish sufficiently fluently to deliver lectures to his colleagues in South America and Spain. He also translated several important texts. He gave over 1000 presentations at more than 600 meetings. He accommodated over 1500 ophthalmologists in his operating rooms during his very active and prolific surgical career, teaching techniques of ophthalmic surgery to two generations of surgeons. …He served the St. Louis Society for the Blind since 1963. He was founder of the Eye Research foundation of Missouri, Columbia and member of the Visual Rehabilitation Center and Lions Eye Bank of Missouri.” The late John Norwood of Bethesda said, “Dr. Drews was one of the American pioneers in lens implantation during cataract extraction, now a common procedure and he has designed numerous surgical instruments used world-wide which bear his name.”
Washington University’s Chancellor Wrighton commented, “Bob Drews has a deep and longstanding relationship with Washington University that has profoundly impacted our students, faculty and the greater university community. “Through the years, he gave back with charitable remainder unitrusts, gift annuities, an estate gift and outright gifts. He and his wife endowed the Dr. and Mrs. Robert C. Drews Scholarship, supporting students in the school of medicine and Robert C. Drews Distinguished Professorship in Ophthalmology. His generous support went beyond the medical community and included many of the momentous cultural institutions of St. Louis.
Dr. Drews’ generous spirit includes donating his body to the Washington University Body Donor Program. There will be a memorial service for Robert Drews on Saturday, May 27th 11am at Village Lutheran Church, 9237 Clayton Road, Ladue, MO 63124. Donations in his memory may be made to the Saint Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired or Bethesda Health Group.