Cover photo for Dr.  Richard Drury's Obituary
1941 Dr. 2019

Dr. Richard Drury

June 27, 1941 — March 30, 2019

Dr. Richard Lee Drury (Dick) went to the Lord on Saturday, March 30, 2019 at the age of 77, with his beloved wife Nancy at his side. Richard was born to Donald and Lillian Drury on June 27, 1941 in Springfield, IL. Later, his family moved to Phoenix, AZ, where he met his wife Nancy Lee Wells, originally of Virginia. Dick graduated from West High School and attended Arizona State University where, upon graduating, he was commissioned in the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC). Dick and Nancy were married at Trinity United Methodist Church in Orange, VA on June 17, 1961.

As a USMC Captain, Richard served as a helicopter pilot in the Vietnam War assigned to Marine Observation Squadron 2 (VMO-2). He was hit by enemy ground-fire and severely wounded in August, 1966 while piloting a rescue operation. He was awarded multiple medals for his heroism and service, including recognition for one daring evacuation mission of twenty-three wounded Marines. His awards included two Distinguished Flying Cross medals and the Purple Heart. After recovering for one year at Portsmouth Naval Hospital, Dick received an honorable discharge, and he and Nancy then lived many happy years together raising their two children in Virginia Beach, VA.

In civilian life, Richard served in executive management roles in private industry for many years, and he earned a Masters in Business Administration (Old Dominion University) and a Doctor of Arts in Education (George Mason University). He also served as the Division Director of the Continuing Education Institute for Management at Old Dominion University, and later as Professor and Director for Small Business Programs and as Small Business Institute Director at George Mason University. Dick also loved teaching Masters level courses for many years at George Mason University. He also served as an Associate Dean of Business at Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale, VA. He authored several publications and was highly respected within the Education arena.

Retiring in 2003, Dick and Nancy built their retirement home on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, where they continued to live many happy years together on the Chesapeake Bay. There Dick served as an active member and Chair of the Northampton County School Board, a member of the Eastern Shore Community College Board, and Chair of the Educational Advisory Council for WHRO. He was also a co-founder and President of the Northampton County Education Foundation.

Among his many talents, Richard was an amazing musician well-known for playing the piano and singing. As the choir director for Bethel United Methodist Church in Jamesville for many years, Dick extended his great talent to the joy of the church in the glory of God. He also loved the outdoors and spent many happy times with family and friends fishing and boating on the Chesapeake Bay, and many happy family vacations on the beaches of Avon, North Carolina.

Dick leaves an imprint on the hearts of so many in his roles as a beloved husband, father, grandfather and family man, friend, leader, teacher, and mentor. Most of all, Dick was a kind, loving, and caring man who made a true difference, and he will never be forgotten.

Richard is survived by his wife of 57 years, Nancy Wells Drury; his daughter Lee Anne Drury McMurry (W. Thomas McMurry, Jr.) of MD, (granddaughters Clare and Mary); his son Robert Lee Drury (Carole M. Drury) of ME; brothers Donald Drury (Sandra) of AZ and David Drury of OR; and brother-in-law Robert H. Wells (Janice) of Virginia Beach, VA. He is pre-deceased by his parents, Donald and Lillian Drury and in-laws Robert and Wyvetta Wells.

A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at Bethel United Methodist Church, Jamesville, VA on Saturday, April 13 at 2:00 p.m. The family requests that donations in Richard's honor be made to the Northampton County Education Foundation, P. O. Box 360, Machipongo, VA 23405.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Arrangements were made by Doughty Funeral Home in Exmore, Virginia.

Celebration of Life Service

Bethel United Methodist Church
  • Email Details
  • 6369 Occohannock Neck Rd.
    Jamesville, VA 23398
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