Dr. Jerry Edward Drummond, 76, of Clemmons passed away Tuesday September 14, 2021. He was born June 5, 1945 to Eldon Zane and Elizabeth McMeekin Drummond. During his college years, Jerry was so infamous for running out of gas that his friends often hesitated to ride with him. It is a fitting analogy for Jerry’s passing. He still had so many places to go and so much life to live, but he simply ran out of gas due to complications from a breakthrough COVID infection.
A person’s life reflects their priorities. Jerry’s life was piloted by his strong and active relationship with Jesus Christ— he personified the Franciscan admonition to preach the Gospel at all times and if necessary, use words. His years of service included deacon and youth director at churches in Columbus, OH; deacon and elder at Vineyard Community Church in Cuyahoga Falls, OH; and deacon at River Oaks Community Church in Clemmons, NC. Jerry generously demonstrated Christ’s love to the hurting with his time, finances, and sometimes even inviting people to live in the family’s home. Prayer was as reflexive to Jerry as breathing, and multiple persons have shared how Jerry’s prayers impacted their life. Even in the beginning days of his COVID infection, Jerry still requested names and details from friends and family so he could specifically pray for them. Jerry’s family is certain his greeting upon entering heaven was “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Jerry loved his family well; and there are endless stories of how he demonstrated this priority. He was an attentive and active father: reading with his girls when they were young, playing raucous “hide-and-seek” games through the Metro Parks, coaching track and field, and attending nearly every volleyball game. With his marriage to Kris, he relished the opportunity to have two more children to love, tease, and be proud of. He rejoiced at the births of every grandchild and truly glowed when recounting any story about them. Jerry was known for his engaging conversation, quick wit, dad-jokes and puns, which often elicited eyerolls and groans from his family.
An educator at heart, Jerry retired in 2016 as Emeritus Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Akron. Jerry’s prolific education commenced as a Cuyahoga Falls High School graduate. His professional education included a B.S. (ME), from Kettering University, 1968; a M.S. (ME), from The University of Akron, 1972; and a Ph.D. (ME) from The Ohio State University, 1981. In addition to his professorial responsibilities, working as an advisor to the Honors College and advising student competition teams at the University of Akron remained two of Jerry’s favorite activities during his 35 years there. The days of teaching at the U brought Jerry much delight and some heartburn. He often regaled his friends with funny stories, and everyone could tell his passion truly was teaching. He championed his students, pushing them to excel, even if they sometimes did not appreciate his methods for accomplishing this. Everyone, especially his students, knew the intensity of his gaze as he slowly removed his glasses before responding to a wayward comment! Jerry received numerous commendations and awards from the University for his teaching acumen. The refrain most chanted by his former students reflecting on Jerry’s influence in their life and education was “he was one of the best.” He truly valued the relationships he forged in the classroom. He not only taught engineering, but honesty, integrity, and kindness as well. The deep connections with his ME colleagues pleased Jerry and honed his keen intellect. Tales of TPing each other’s offices, exploring his extensive humor file to liven up lectures, and smashing the “Jerry Bird” with Dr. Dick Gross would simply be Chapter One in his book of “Life at the U.”
In 2017, Jerry and Kris retired to the Salem Glen community in Clemmons, NC. Neither one realized how quickly they would develop such rich and deep relationships with new friends. During his retirement in NC, Jerry’s golf game flourished, allowing him to experience both elation and frustration (often on the same hole).
Throughout his life, Jerry never swerved from his commitment to the Lord, his family, and friends. These priorities define his legacy and forge the memories of those who loved him. He was preceded in death by his parents. Jerry is survived by his loving wife, Kristine (Kris) Mayhew Drummond of Clemmons, NC, four children, and six grandchildren. Jerry was also preceded in death by his wife, Kathryn Prulhiere Drummond, and is survived by their two daughters: Amber Drummond Porter, her husband Christopher, and their children, Ella, Ava, and Jack of Matthews, NC; and Erin Drummond Miller, her husband, Jason, and their children, Kathryn and Micah, of Akron, OH. When Jerry and Kris married in 2007, Jerry’s family circle happily grew with the inclusion of Kris’ children: son, Zebulon Enright and his wife, Catalina, of Jacksonville, NC; and daughter, Rachel Enright Whang, her husband, Alex, and their daughter, Emilia, of Grosse Pointe Park, MI. Jerry is also survived by his brother, Jeffrey Drummond, and his wife, Jane, of Streetsboro, OH; and his sister, Jill Drummond Brazle and her husband, Mark, of Fort Worth, TX
Celebrations of life will be held on October 2, 2021, at 1:30 pm at River Oaks Community Church in Clemmons, NC and on October 9, 2021, at 1:30 pm at Donovan-Bagnoli Funeral Home in Tallmadge, OH. Masks will be required at both services. If you are symptomatic or unvaccinated, please celebrate with us virtually due to health concerns of many immediate family members.
The link to the online celebration may be found at: https://youtu.be/VdyiwV9QnrU
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating in Jerry’s memory to:
Solus Christus at https://soluschristusinc.org/get-involved/donations/
Athletes in Action at https://give.cru.org/0450556
or your local food bank.
A personal thank you to Jerry’s extensive network of family and friends for their support and prayers. Additionally, the family is exceedingly appreciative of the Novant Forsyth Medical Center teams for their expert and compassionate care.
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