John Lawrence Wooster Drew was born on November 6, 1931,
to Mary Louise Wooster and Lawrence Drew in Charleston, West
Virginia. His greatest sorrow was that he did not get to know his
father well, as his dad died when John was around three years old.
He had a younger sister, Peggy Ann Leftwich (deceased).
John attended Garnet High School in Charleston, West
Virginia. After high school, he served in the United States Airforce
for approximately four years and was honorably discharged on
March 19, 1955. John was stationed primarily in England. A
cherished scrapbook captures his fond memories of the friendships
he forged during his service.
Following his stint in the military John joined his mother and
stepfather, Robert Clarke, in Cleveland, Ohio. John was able to attract
friends easily with his charm. Not long after moving to Cleveland,
John established another network of buddies. They would hang
out, have weekend basement parties, and play softball. During this
time, John met Barbara Robinson, another West Virginian, and they
wed in 1956. To this union, one child was born, Karen Michelle.
Another daughter from a previous relationship, Thelma Alesha,
blessed his life.
For most of his post-military career, John worked as a truck
driver. He started at Fisher Fazio Foods as a loader and then advanced
to truck driver. After retirement, he devoted his time to pursuing his
John was the definition of a Renaissance Man. He was innately
curious and knowledgeable; this combination led to his pursuit of
horseback riding, piloting twin-engine planes, playing the acoustic
guitar, interior decorating, sailing, and 3-D photography, to name
a few. At a young age, John showed an aptitude for art, and he
was able to hone his skills and become an accomplished artist. In
1979, John purchased a sailboat and christened it Lady Suzy after
his maternal grandmother, with whom he was extremely close.
John was a member of the U.S. Power Squadrons for 15
years. In 1999, he served as Commander of the Berea Squadron.
During his membership, he participated as a student and instructor.
His newfound boating community served as another family to John.
They traveled, raced, and spent many weekends hanging out on each
After he sold his boat, he developed an interest in 3-D pho-
tography. After much research, he designed and built an apparatus
to hold two cameras so he could take 3-D photos. It is something
that he should have patented.
John lived in the same apartment for over 40 years. In his
early 80s, he decided he would remodel his apartment. John redid
his bathroom, built a custom closet, and laid tile flooring. When he
could not find a buffet to go with his new dining set, he designed one
and had it fabricated. If the circumstances for John had been differ-
ent (living in another time and having encouragement and support),
there is no telling what he could have accomplished.
John was handsome, and until the end, he cared deeply about
his appearance. He insisted on being dressed to the nines for doc-
tor’s appointments or trips to the emergency room.
He also had a dry sense of humor and could spin a good story;
you often did not know if he was serious or pulling your leg. When
he and one of his best friends, Richard “Dick” Burke would get
together and reminisce about old times, Dick would shake his head
as John recalled some story and say, “John, stop lying,” and they
would have a hearty laugh.
John was a complex man with many layers, but one thing is
for sure, he lived his life his way!
John leaves behind to share in his memories daughters, Thelma
Alesha “Juzang and Karen Drew Swint; grandchildren John Juzang,
Joia Juzang, and Sarah Swint; niece, Kim Leftwich; nephew, Charles
Leftwich; cousins Carmen Wooster, Jeanette Farmer (Lewis), and
Donna Heyliger (Philip), and Jerome Wooster, Jr. (Linda). Special
acknowledgments to the Burke, English, and Saffold families for
their love and support.