I've (co)written my first obituary - not something one wants to have to do, but nonetheless I considered it an honor.
R. Sherwin Drury, 91, of 112 Stuart Ave., died in his sleep Sunday evening, Aug. 9, in his home after a short illness, surrounded by family. Before his death, Sherwin wrote the following notes contributing to his own obituary:
“He was born at home at 790 Main St. in North Leominster to parents Ralph S. and Florence M. (Farnsworth) Drury, January 9, 1918. He attended Leominster schools through high school class of 1936 and graduated in 1941 from Brown University in Providence, RI. Shortly after graduating, he was drafted, however his stay in the army lasted only nine months because of asthma.
He worked for 40 years at the former Simonds Saw and Steel Co., mostly as a cost estimator in the office of the Fitchburg plant. He was a fourth generation member of the First Church in Leominster Unitarian Universalist. Always very interested in his family genealogy and in local history, he was chairman of the historical committee of his church and produced a 250th anniversary book for it in 1993, plus a troop 1 of Leominster Boy Scout history book. He was formerly a member of the Planning Board of the City of Leominster and for many years has been a member and secretary of the City of Leominster Historical Commission.
He went on to become historian for the City of Leominster Historical Commission, where he was a member for 30 years, until his death. He was instrumental and a contributor toward the 2006 publication of Combing Through Leominster’s History, the first history book of Leominster since 1850. One particular interest was in the history of the Houghton family of Leominster, and of the renaming of North Main St. to Houghton St. in 1874. In 2008 the square at the corner of Main St. and North Main St. was named Houghton Square, and a dedication was held this May to honor the efforts made by Mr. Drury.
Mr. Drury was a unique and beloved man who lived his life, to the very end, with intent and particular attention to detail - in his conversations, his actions, and even his wardrobe. He loved music particularly the big band era. He was always excited to try anything new, whether a new gadget or an interesting food. He was proud to be a life-long republican. Most important to him were the members of his family and the history each is creating. As he said recently while reflecting upon his life, “I am proud of all the things I have done.”
He is survived by three daughters, Ann Drury of Leominster, Judy D. Young of Glover, VT, and Barbara Drury of Westminster, MA; two grandchildren, Sherwin A. Young and Emily J. Young, both of Portland, ME, a cousin Florence “Buddy” (Enholm)Tainter of Leominster, a brother-in-law William Hart Jr. and his wife Mavis of Hanover, NH as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his wife of 55 years, Doris M. Drury, in 2003 and his sister, Jane Graffagnino, of Columbus, GA, earlier this year.