Fern J. Drury, 97
Fern J. Drury (nee Brosch), 40-year resident of Mountain Home and member of St. Peter's Catholic Church, passed away on Memorial Day, May 26th at the age of 97 at Care Manor Nursing Home where she had been receiving care for the past three years. Her death was due to natural causes.
Mrs. Drury was born Fern Josephine Falloon on June 8, 1916 in Chicago, Illinois, to Sterling J. Falloon and Josephine Lang Falloon, the second of six children. In 1920, her father died suddenly and Fern spent several years living with supportive aunts and uncles in Falls City, Nebraska; in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania; and in New York City. She was able to rejoin her mother in Chicago after age 10 and graduated from St. Sabina grammar school in 1930 and Calumet High School in 1934.
A year later, in 1935, she contracted tuberculosis and spent the next 19 months recovering in La Rabida Sanitarium near Chicago. After a nearly two-year bout with the disease, Fern recovered to live vigorously for another 78 years.
In her early 20's, Fern worked at various clerical and secretarial jobs, at times being the sole wage earner in a family caught in the Great Depression. In 1944, she met and married Charles J. Brosch a steelworker who had just been drafted into Army service during World War II. They honeymooned in Macon Georgia where Mr. Brosch was completing his Army training before being shipped to the Pacific Theatre. During her husband's two-year deployment overseas, Fern Brosch lived with an aunt in New York City and worked as a receptionist and secretary. She was in Time Square for the famous celebration on V-E Day in 1945.
Reunited after World War II, Fern and Charles Brosch lived on the far South Side of Chicago and were active members of Annunciata Catholic Church. They had two sons, David in 1947 and Kevin in 1948. Fern was initially a homemaker, but later worked outside the home as a secretary for both Continental Insurance Company and U.S. Steel Corporation to help fund her sons' educations. In 1974, she and her husband retired and moved to Mountain Home. Fern and Charles had 40 years of happy marriage and 10 contented years in Mountain Home before Charles died of cancer in 1984.
While a widow, Fern traveled, often in company with her late brother Sterling F. Falloon, to visit her children, grandchildren and relatives all across the United States, and toured Mexico and New Zealand. In the Spring of 1992, she met widower James Drury Jr. of Peoria Illinois who was visiting a mutual friend in Mountain Home. They discovered that they had both graduated in the same grammar school class 62 years earlier. After a brief courtship, they were married at St. Peter's Church in August 1992 and enjoyed a happy second marriage for the next 19 years in Mountain Home.
In 2011, Fern fell and suffered a traumatic leg injury that permanently immobilized her and from which she never fully recovered. While she was recuperating from surgery on her leg, her husband Jim died. After Jim's passing, she lived at Care Manor until her death.
A gracious, caring and generous person, Fern was known for her kindness and devotion to her family and friends, and her charity and giving to those less fortunate. She supported as many charities as her means would permit. Although she herself had not gone beyond high school, she constantly stressed the importance of education with her family. With Fern's encouragement, both her sons attended college and professional school and pursued careers in urban planning and international law. Fern's legacy of valuing education was passed down to her five grandchildren who have all attended college and three of whom have pursued graduate degrees.
Fern is survived by brother, Robert Crowley of Chicago Illinois; her sons David Brosch of University Park, Maryland and Kevin Brosch of Woodville, Virginia; her daughters-in-law, Sharon Biederman Brosch and Dr. Paula Howland Brosch; her five grandchildren, James, Jessica, Benjamin, Katherine and Amanda; Diann Howland and Ferris Weston Howland; her devoted nieces Marilyn Devaney of Tuscon, Arizona and Marilyn Griebel of Rico, Colorado; nephew John Donhauser of Seattle, Washington; many other nieces and nephews; two step-daughters, Mary Correll and Catherine Snitchler; step-son James Drury III and his wife Peggy; step-grandson, James Drury IV; and her "Mountain Home family" -- special friends Ray and Cay Vermeersch who visited loyally and helped care for her in her later years, and were as dear to her as any of her own family.
Fern will be interred at Baxter Memorial Garden next to the late first husband, Charles Brosch. A memorial Mass, conducted by Reverend Chris Okeke will be celebrated at St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church at 10:00 A.M. June 10, 2014.
Arrangements are under the direction of Roller Funeral Home. Please visit our online guestbook: www.rollerfuneralhomes.com.
Roller-Chenal Funeral Home
13801 Chenal Parkway Little Rock, AR 72211
Published in Baxter Bulletin on May 30, 2014