Theodore "Ted" Drew
A Life Well Lived
Ted invariably had a joke in store for each person he met, especially in his latter years. He relished telling jokes at dinner, in the barber chair, to his Romeo (Retired Old Men Eating Out) buddies and to everyone else who would listen and laugh with him. This trait helped him to make friends and keep them.
Ted was born and brought up in the Bronx, NY, the second child of Mollie and Louis Drew and lived there happily with his parents and sister, Helen Isenberg (nee Drew), until he graduated from Herman Ritter Junior High School when, as he has recalled, "My parents decided to ruin my life"; this, too, is a joke, but one with a serious side. It isn't easy moving at that tender age, and it took Ted awhile to adjust and become a popular member of the Bennett High School crowd, in Buffalo, NY, where his parents were going into the drive-in movie business. Ted became an integral part of the Delaware Drive-in by running the miniature golf course, helping to deal with the movie distributors, cleaning and shaping-up the business after each long winter and generally working his butt off seven days a week all summer while, as he says, his friends were working five and partying and sunning themselves the other two.
All was not lost as Ted did exceptionally well in high school, graduated after three years and was promptly accepted at Buffalo University at sixteen. During that time at university, he was an active member of Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity. He went on to meet and woo his future wife, the former Thelma Block, who entered Buffalo Teacher's College and was quickly smitten with the tall, dark and handsome young man with plans to become a lawyer.
Ted applied and was easily accepted into Columbia Law School, after three years of undergrad school and at the age of nineteen. He cautioned his future bride not to reveal his age to his new law school buddies lest they think him too young to be one of them. With no reason to worry, he excelled at school arguing Moot Court Honors and graduating a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar.
After practicing in Manhattan, with the firm of Krisel, Lessall and Dowling for several years, he was enticed to move to Monticello, NY, the former home of his now wife, Thelma, by her very persuasive father, Joseph Block, who was a successful dairyman and politician. Ted joined Stephen Oppenheim in the firm of Oppenheim and Oppenheim, which quickly became Oppenheim and Drew and then, ultimately Oppenheim, Drew and Kane, as Anthony T. Kane joined the firm. Later, he would partner with Michael Davidoff and Brian Edwards, forming the firm of Drew, Davidoff and Edwards, first with the steady hand of Edie Epstein, then with the help of his trusted right-hand woman, Lori Karadontes.
During this time the Drews welcomed into their family three sons: Rob, Larry and Ken. The Drew residence was always busy and bustling with the boys and their many friends. Ted somehow found time to build a tree-house with them, drive the tractor (with the boys in tow), go snowmobiling with them, as well as many other fun activities and family dinners, many of them cooked and hosted by Grandpa Joe and Grandma Ruth.
Ted and Thelma participated in many community events, with Ted a favorite MC at fund-raising auctions. He was a President and member of the Monticello Kiwanis Club for over fifty years and a Board member of Temple Sholom, where he and the family worshipped. He also held a number of political positions including: Village of Monticello Attorney, Town of Thompson Attorney, Urban Renewal Attorney and Assistant County of Sullivan Attorney. Through it all, he never gave up his jokes.
When he spoke to his sister, Helen, on the phone or in person, he always had a joke for her. When he saw his sons or his nephew, Tom, or spoke to his grandsons, he likewise had a joke or two for them.
After retirement, Ted and Thelma moved to Albany, to be near the part of their family that lived there. Larry and his wife, the former Christina Curran, of Albany, NY, and their three sons, Joseph, Stephen and Ryan, and Ken and his wife, the former Tracey Wood, of Bethel, NY, and their two daughters, Mollie and Rachel all live in the area.
Rob and his wife, the former Amy Keogh, their daughter Charlotte, and their son Daniel live in Michigan, but joined the family often, in Albany or in Florida, where Ted and Thelma spent their winters, to celebrate occasions large and small. Ted also remained active in several Bar Association committees.
Retirement was good and as Ted said, so many times, "I have been blessed. It has been a wonderful life". Ted is survived by his wife of 63 years, Thelma B. Drew, of Boca Raton, Fla.
There will be no formal services. Friends and family are invited to a short service at Ted and Thelma's home in Boca Raton from 2-6 pm on Monday, July 8. Close family will celebrate Ted's life in Albany in the coming weeks.
Professional arrangements by:
Gary Panoch Funeral Home
6140 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33487
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