John Drees
1960 - 2020
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A memorial service and reception for John Jury Drees, 60, Lawrence, will be held at 1:00 pm, April 4th, at Ecumenical Christian Ministries (ECM) at 1204 Oread in Lawrence.

John died March 3, 2020, at his home.

He was born January 8, 1960, in Boulder, CO, the son of Linus Sigmund and Barbara Jeanne Jury Drees. John's family moved to Kansas in 1968, where he graduated from Holcomb High School in 1978. With a strong interest in the medical field, he was among the first paramedics in the state, leading him to earn a BSN from The University of Kansas.

After nursing school, he worked in the Emergency Department at KU Medical Center before joining the LMH Emergency Dept in 1992, where he worked for many years.

John was a incredible asset for the community, working tirelessly locally and nationally as a representative for the Safe Kids Coalition, and in 2010, he produced an Instructor's Training video for use in the National Child Passenger Safety Certification Training program. He was presented the Vision Award from LMH in 2000, and after 26 years he retired from LMH Health as a Community Education Specialist.

Locally, John's voice was heard on TV commercials, and his voiceover work was something he enjoyed doing. He briefly worked as an overnight DJ on a Topeka radio station, and had volunteered at Audio Reader for 20 years. He enjoyed hosting parties for his various circles of friends, and was widely known for his humor and ability to share his many life stories with gusto.

Survivors include two sisters, Lucy Drees Oberle and husband Richard K. Kirchberg of Haysville, NC, Bernadette Drees Rogers and husband Stanley E. of Lawrence; a brother, Paul Herbert Drees and wife Karin S. of Lawrence; nieces and nephews, Matthew Drees Oberle and wife Betty, Nathan Drees Oberle and wife Brie-Anne Emerson, Bernadette Lynne Drees, Laura Clare Drees, Monica Jean Drees, and Benjamin Miles Drees. He was preceded in death by his parents.

The family suggests memorial contributions to Safe Kids Douglas County, sent in care of the funeral home, PO Box 1260, Lawrence, KS 66044.

Condolences may be sent at

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Published in Lawrence Journal-World on Mar. 15, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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3 entries
March 17, 2020
John was always the "man with a smile" His humor was shared regardless of his own situations. You will be missed my friend.
Bob Harvey
March 16, 2020
John was such a great friend and partner in health and safety to Lawrence schools. His legacy lives on through the education of thousands of children.
Julie Boyle
March 15, 2020
John always had a great smile to go with his BIG heart.
He did a lot of good for a lot of people.
Peace to my coworker and his family.
Robert Trepinski
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