William “Bill” G. Drebes Jr., 86, Monroe City, Mo., passed away Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at Hannibal Regional Hospital surrounded by his loved ones.
Bill was born on Aug. 14, 1933, in rural Marion County, Mo., to William J. Drebes and Mary Gross Drebes. He married Mary “Granny” Hathaway on Aug. 9, 1952, in Palmyra, Mo. She survives.
Other survivors include three children, Donald Drebes, Monroe City; Greg (Sue) Drebes, Monroe City; and Marilyn (the late Jack) O’Dear, Quincy, Ill.; nine grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; one son, John W. Drebes; one brother and one sister.
Bill, better known as “Papa,” was a retired farmer.
A graduate of Monroe City High School, Bill proudly served his country in the United States Naval Reserves from 1951 to 1955.
Bill was active in the local 4-H and FFA helping many children show cattle. He served on the board for Production Credit Services to oversee local farm loans.
His farm management practices were recognized in 1970 by the University of Missouri. His family was named the KHMO Farm Family of the Year during the 1970s. He was the recipient of the Honorary Chapter Farmer Award in 1986 from the Monroe City FFA.
Bill enjoyed spending time at the family river camp on the Mississippi where he took pleasure in boating and fishing. He even built his own boat dock and pontoon. Bill tackled many construction projects, including the construction of his family’s home.
After retiring from farming, Bill drove a bus for Monroe City and Palmyra schools as well as the OATS bus. He loved to watch area ballgames, especially his grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s games. He enjoyed playing cards with friends and family, mushroom hunting, and spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Bill, a longtime member of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Monroe City, served as chairman of the congregation.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 13, at Our Savior Lutheran Church of Monroe City. Rev. Scott Salo will officiate. Burial will be at Greenwood Cemetery in Palmyra.
Pallbearers will be Tait Wilson, Chris Barnes, Dakota Damron, Matt Long, Adam Oswald, Brian Scott, Brady Scott and Brogan Scott.
Honorary pallbearers will be his former farm hands, Willis Schluckebier, Kevin Brocaille, Mike Drew and Earl Wayne Karr.
Friends and family are invited to Bill’s life celebration during visitation from 4 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 12, at the James O’Donnell Life Celebration Home of Monroe City.
Memorials may be made to Our Savior Lutheran Church.