Drury Sullivan Caine III
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Drury Sullivan Caine III
Tuscaloosa - Drury Sullivan Caine III, 88, of Tuscaloosa, AL, was welcomed to the glories of Heaven early in the morning of October 29, 2020. He was born in Selma, AL to Frances and Drury Caine. He attended Albert G. Parrish High School in Selma and The University of the South, Sewanee. He received B.A. and M.S. degrees from Vanderbilt University, following which he served in the U.S. Army as a medic. He received his Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry from Emory University, where he met his future wife Virginia Hall Brinson. After their marriage, he performed post-doctoral research at Columbia University on a National Institutes of Health Fellowship, following which he accepted a professorship at The Georgia Institute of Technology, where he taught and performed research for 21 years. During that time, he taught for a quarter at University of California, Berkeley, as a visiting professor. He and his family moved to Tuscaloosa in 1983 after he was recruited by The University of Alabama as professor and Chairman of its Chemistry Department. After over 12 years as department chairman, he resigned that position and took a sabbatical year at The University of Alabama at Birmingham doing biochemical research. Afterwards, he resumed his responsibilities in teaching and research in Tuscaloosa, until his retirement in 1999 as Professor Emeritus.
Throughout his teaching career, he always maintained an active research program in organic synthesis, publishing as principal investigator approximately 95 papers in peer-reviewed chemical journals. During the course of his career, he directed the research of 20 doctoral candidates and several Master of Science candidates.
He received the University's Roger Sayers Distinguished Service Award in 1998.
During Drury's 37 years in Tuscaloosa, he was an active member of St. Mark United Methodist Church in Northport, attending regularly and serving on various committees. He was one of the first volunteers in the church's food pantry, serving that ministry faithfully as it evolved to aid approximately 50 families per week.
In 2015, he suffered a debilitating hemorrhagic stroke, which affected his right side. In retrospect, this began a different kind of ministry for Drury, that of inspiring others to persevere in overcoming their own obstacles. After completing medical rehab, he pushed himself to continue regaining his strength and mobility and living life to its fullest. Men at church enjoyed his increasingly strong handshake and the younger, fitness-oriented men at his gym often commented he was an inspiration to them.
His family knew he could always be counted on and that they were blessed to have him as a husband and father who loved them dearly. Following a second stroke early this year, many people have contacted him to say how much he has meant to them, both as a friend and a mentor. Always the gentleman, those who knew him loved and respected him.
2020 brought the second stroke, a fractured hip resulting in 6 weeks of virus-necessitated insolation in a rehab facility, and a recurrence of multiple myeloma. All of these took their toll. Throughout, he fought the good fight.
His family would like to thank all the wonderful healthcare givers who helped him and improved his quality of life.
He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Virginia Hall Brinson Caine, whom he "loved sincerely," his daughters Frances Camille Caine Duerr (Douglas) of Atlanta, GA and Lauren Hall Caine Cooper (Kier) of Tampa, FL, grandchildren Case Sullivan Cooper, Kennedy Lauren Cooper, Isabelle Brinson Duerr and Claire Hanson Duerr, and beloved niece, nephews and other family members.
VISITATION: Monday, November 2, 2020 from 4:00 PM until 6:00 PM at Northport Funeral and Cremation Service, 5404 Watermelon Road, Northport, AL 35473.
GRAVESIDE SERVICE: Tuesday, November 3, 2020 at 11:00 AM at New Live Oak Cemetery, 110 W. Dallas Avenue, Selma, AL 36701.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions designated "food pantry" be made to St. Mark United Methodist Church, Northport, AL.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Tuscaloosa News from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, 2020.
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7 entries
November 3, 2020
Getting PhD degree especially in foreign country is never easy and wants gentle guidance. Professor Caine warmheartedly led me to finish my Tuscaloosa goal successfully and he remains to me a father. When I came across him last spring after 19 years my departure, he smiled and welcomed me just like we were together just before. He will be remembered to me as a great teacher for the rest of my life. Please rest in peace, Professor Caine.
Kwangho Lee
November 2, 2020
I first met Drury at Mt. Vernon Presbyterian Church in Sandy Springs, GA in a Sunday School class taught by his wife, Virginia. He was so kind and soft spoken. He always asked about how others were doing, where they were in their lives, what things were important to them , and how they planned to grow in the future. I can never remember him bragging about himself. In fact, I did not know that he was a college professor for quite sometime. He shared his faith with others but most important he demonstrated his faith in his daily life. The last time I was with him, he and I watched an Alabama Tides football game while Virginia was in the kitchen cooking. I really enjoyed talking with him. When Virginia would get going on a subject, I can still hear him say, "Now Virgin". He will truly be missed by family and friends. Life here on earth was well done serving others and God. Now, you can rest in heavenly peace my friend!
Barbara Schonhardt
November 2, 2020
I was a graduate student under Dr. Caine at the UAB from 1986-1992. With his role as chairman of the chemistry department during this period, his administrative duties would consume a large chunk of his time. However, his skillset as an organic chemist and researcher never waivered and he always found time during his busy days to stop down and check in on his graduate students to make sense of our latest laboratory blunders. Personally speaking, with my own father dying at a young age, Dr. Caine's example as a gentleman and a Christian provided even more impactful lessons than those from his mentorship as a Professor. His no nonsense approach to life, work ethic and example of how to respect other human beings and God went beyond lessons learned in the lab and helped shaped me into a better person.
November 2, 2020
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Pravin Kotian
November 1, 2020
So sorry to hear about Dr Caine’s passing. I didn’t get to work with Dr Caine long before his retirement at UofA but I enjoyed the little time we had and I always looked forward to seeing and talking with him and Ms Virginia at our Christmas parties. I thought of both of them as good Christian people that loved the Lord. I know he will be missed but it’s heavens gain. Ms Virginia and daughters please know you are in my prayers.
Jackie McPherson
October 31, 2020
So sorry to hear of Dr. Caine's passing and his health struggles - especially during the pandemic. May God be with Virginia, their girls and grandchildren and flood them with wonderful memories.
Jan Cook Kendrick
October 30, 2020
I am so saddened to learn of Dr. Caine’s passing. He was truly a gentleman....something hard to find these days. I had the utmost respect for him as a boss (chairman of the Chemistry Department at UA), friend and Christian. Next to my daddy and granddaddy, he was one of the best men I have ever known! Heaven has gained a great one! Much love and sympathy to Virginia and family during this time.
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