Harry John Drasutis, age 71, of Pensacola passed away following a courageous struggle against renal cancer.
Harry was born on November 20, 1941 in Chicago, IL, the son of Lithuanian immigrants. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force
, Harry served during the Vietnam conflict as a B-52 bomber crew chief operating out of Guam. After returning stateside to Barksdale AFB near Shreveport, LA, Harry met and married the love of his life, the former Paulette Anne Slusser. Following military service, Harry attended Louisiana Tech University, where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Chemistry. Throughout college, Harry juggled full-time studies with his duties as a husband, father of three young children and several part-time jobs, indefatigable in his zeal to provide a good life for his family.
After accepting a position with GAF Corporation, Harry moved his family to Pensacola in 1973, where he fell in love with the Gulf Coast. He generously shared this love with his children through many weekend excursions to see, explore and appreciate the region. A natural outdoorsman, he actively pursued his passions for freshwater and saltwater fishing, deer hunting and cowboy shooting. He volunteered as a leader in Scouting, and mentored and encouraged two of his sons to attain the rank of Eagle Scout.
Post-retirement, Harry continued to enjoy spending time fishing with friends from the Ocean Springs Bassmasters club, his colleagues with Hertz at the Pensacola Airport and spoiling Paulette and his beloved dog, Emma Jean.
An obedient servant of God, Harry was a man of personal character, integrity and dignity who was content with the simple joys of being a good husband and father. Quiet and reserved, he was the embodiment of the expression "still waters run deep" in that those fortunate enough to have known him were treated to his kind humor, insightful wit and intellect. Harry enjoyed the camaraderie of small groups, and in such intimate venues exhibited his mastery of Scrabble to the chagrin of those daring or foolhardy enough to challenge him. Harry was blessed with a full and rewarding life, a life which enriched others.
Harry is preceded in death by his parents, Stanislaus and Anastasia Drasutis, and a son, Harry.
He is survived by his devoted wife of 49 years, Paulette; a daughter, Robin and sons, Paul, David and Peter. He is further survived by a sister, Elena Rodriguez; four loving daughters-in-law, Francine, Lisa, Suzanne and Jodie; his grandchildren, Lauren, Paige, Alan, Lily, Preston and Callie and a host of extended family and close friends who mourn his loss and cherish his memory.
The family offers special thanks to Dr. and Mrs. Thomas B. Tan, the exceptional medical staff at West Florida Hospital, Sharon Dickinson, Steve and Jill Odea, Edward and Crystal Leech, Connie Miller, Bobby Greaves, Cindy Wakefield and the faculty and families of Creative Learning Academy.
Memorial Service will be held 2:00pm Monday, November 12, 2012 at Harper-Morris Memorial Chapel with Fr. Doug Halsema officiating.
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