John Drescher Obituary
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In Memory of

John Ernest Drescher

September 24, 1934 - June 21, 2014
Obituary

John E. "Jack" Drescher, 79, of Raleigh, died Saturday, June 21, at The Rosewood Health Center in The Cypress retirement community in North Raleigh. Jack was born Sept. 24, 1934, in Rockland County, N.Y, the only child of Esther and Oswald Drescher. He was salutatorian of the Haverstraw High School class of 1952. He earned a degree in electrical engineering in 1956 from Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., and was a four-year starter for the Dutchmen baseball team. After three years of service in the U.S. Air Force, Jack began a 35-year-career with IBM, first in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and later at Research Triangle Park. He was proud to...
John E. "Jack" Drescher, 79, of Raleigh, died Saturday, June 21, at The Rosewood Health Center in The Cypress retirement community in North Raleigh. Jack was born Sept. 24, 1934, in Rockland County, N.Y, the only child of Esther and Oswald Drescher. He was salutatorian of the Haverstraw High School class of 1952. He earned a degree in electrical engineering in 1956 from Union College in Schenectady, N.Y., and was a four-year starter for the Dutchmen baseball team.

After three years of service in the U.S. Air Force, Jack began a 35-year-career with IBM, first in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and later at Research Triangle Park. He was proud to work for IBM and proud of his colleagues. Early in his career, he was part of a team of engineers responsible for the design and layout of the 7740 communication control system, which used telephone lines to link computers, transmission terminals and control units. This system combined data processing with a communications network.

Later he was the product manager for NetView/PC, which bridged the gap between non-IBM products and IBM's telecommunications systems. In the late 1980s, he was IBM's point person in working with the National Science Foundation to create a national computer network that connected 250 college campuses. The network enabled researchers across the country to more easily share ideas and data. An IBM publication described him as "an ambassador for IBM products and service in a relatively new and fast-growing field." That field was the Internet.

After he retired from IBM, Jack enjoyed working for five years for the MCNC Center for Communications as manager for program development.

Jack was a committed, life-long Catholic. He and his wife, Ann, enjoyed their numerous friendships with nuns and priests over the years, especially the priests at their church, St. Francis of Assisi. He was an active volunteer at Cardinal Gibbons High School, from which each of his three children graduated, and in 2005 received the Monsignor Griffin Award for service to the school.

Jack believed in the promise of America and that all children, from all backgrounds, should have a shot at achieving their dreams. He coached youth baseball and in retirement was a mentor to 6th grade students in the Durham public school system.

He enjoyed being a husband and father and was proud of his three children (and sometimes talked too much about them). To his adult children, he was a prolific writer of letters and emails, offering support and encouragement.

No summary of Jack Drescher's life, no matter how incomplete, could fail to note that he was a passionate and informed sports fan. Long before ESPN, he devoured newspaper sports pages, including the fine-print agate that would tell him who won the Marquette-DePaul basketball game, the golf tournament in Fort Worth or the International League game at Syracuse. He grew up going to pro games at Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium but easily transitioned in the 1970s to going to college games at Duke, Carolina and especially at N.C. State, where he enjoyed his seatmates in section 30 at Carter-Finley Stadium. He was thrilled when an NHL team relocated to Raleigh so that he could renew his passion for hockey. In retirement, he cherished the weekly meetings of the Raleigh Sports Club. He remembered key moments of family history by associating them with the big game that was played that day. He liked just about every sport and always was up for going to a game. The great Ernie Banks always was ready to play two; Jack always was ready to watch two.

He is survived by Ann, his wife of nearly 57 years, and by his three children: Pat and husband Joe Froneberger of Charlotte; John and wife Deanna of Raleigh; and Craig and wife Margie of Montgomery, Ala. He also is survived by 10 grandchildren, including young Jack Drescher, who was born two months ago. The family would like to thank the staff at The Rosewood for their compassionate care of our husband and father.

The family will receive friends Tuesday from 6 - 8 pm at Mitchell Funeral Home at 7209 Glenwood Ave. in Raleigh. Funeral Services will be held Wednesday at 10 am at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 11401 Leesville Road in Raleigh.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Peace and Justice Fund at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 11401 Leesville Road, Raleigh, NC 27613.

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"Letty and I are so sorry about having learned for the first time today, June 28th, of Jack's death. I have known Jack for over 45 years and have found him..." Ron Phillips (Raleigh, NC)

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More Obituaries

News & Observer, The
John E. Drescher September 24, 1934 - June 21, 2014 Raleigh John E. "Jack" Drescher, 79, of Raleigh, died Saturday, June 21, at The Rosewood...

Read obituary at News & Observer, The.

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