Richard George Drury, a lifelong resident of Latah County, passed away on June 15, 2023, after a courageous battle with urothelial carcinoma, which he fought valiantly alongside his prolonged struggle with Multiple Sclerosis. Born on February 4, 1941, at Gritman Hospital, Richard was the beloved only child of Richard Manley Drury and Vera Madeline (Moore) Drury. His early years were spent on the family farm, nestled on Texas Ridge, where they cultivated the renowned Drury's Famous Strawberries, specifically the Idaho Crescent variety. Gaining recognition across Idaho and Washington, the Drurys became the cherished supplier for the annual Deary Strawberry Festival and the passenger trains of the Milwaukee Road. Strawberries were grown commercially by the Drury’s until the passing of Richard’s father in 1971.
His academic journey began as the valedictorian of Deary High School. He achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first member of his family to attend university, graduating from the University of Idaho with a degree in Agricultural Sciences and a teaching certificate. During his time there, he was a member of the Theta Xi fraternity. In 1962, he met Carole Ellis of Calgary, Alberta, at an Agricultural Student conference in Vancouver, leading to their marriage in August 1965.
Richard's drove school bus, taught at Bovill and Deary, and served as the principal at Bovill, all while expanding the family farm. By 1970, he was farming full-time. At the pinnacle of his agricultural career, Richard and Carole farmed a couple thousand acres of grain and ran 120 pairs of cattle. His progressive farming methods led to his recognition as an Idaho Outstanding Young Farmer. Richard and Carole had two daughters, Megan and Cassie. The divorced in 1980, both continuing to farm with Carole raising the cattle and Richard expanding his grain production.
His commitment to his community extended beyond his farm. He dedicated his time to various civic and volunteer organizations, including the White Pine School Board, the Latah County Planning and Zoning Committee, the Republican Central Committee, the Texas Ridge Community Association, and the Deary Lions Club. He actively supported the local youth by inviting Deary 4-H and FFA members to the annual Spring branding of calves, and by hiring local students for his hay crew. Additionally, he generously contributed his trucks, tractors, and labor to the Palouse Hills Pony Club.
In August 1983, Richard married Robin Dalton and embarked on a new chapter in Deary, operating Drury Foods, a grocery store, along with the grain farm. Due to unforeseen circumstances that sharply curtailed his farming ventures, he undertook a second career as an Allstate Insurance agent. He continued to reside on the family farm on Texas Ridge before relocating his family to a beautiful acreage near Moscow. Richard and Robin had three daughters, Rachel, Rebecca and Rosalyn. They divorced in 1992.
Over time, Richard established an independent agency on Washington Street in Moscow, Idaho. Richard built a successful business until his retirement in 2008. He served on the Seventh Day Adventist School Board during this time. Richard's dedication to education remained unwavering, and he took immense joy in witnessing each of his daughters graduate from university, expanding their horizons.
Despite being symptomatic with Multiple Sclerosis since the 1980s and officially diagnosed in 1992, Richard embraced his retirement years on his Moscow acreage. He stayed connected with former students, friends, family, and neighbors through the platform of Facebook. A proud 12th generation American, tracing his lineage back to Hugh Drury arriving on the Abigail in Boston in 1635, Richard maintained a keen interest in politics and government. Known for his captivating storytelling and deep knowledge of Latah County's history, Richard was a treasured source of local anecdotes.
Richard leaves behind a loving family, including his daughters Megan (Paul Meyer) Alexander "Alec" Drury-Singh, Olivia, Abigail, and Callista; Cassandra and Colin Shafer; Rachel (Jose Yañez) Jovani, Jose´ Jr. "Brother," Julia, and Jayla; Rebecca (Justin Hamilton) Khalila Moussamir, Lily, and Lucas; and Rosalyn. Nephew Craig (Cindy) Dewis.
A memorial service honoring Richard's life will take place at the Moscow Seventh Day Adventist Church on Saturday, July 1. Following the service, a vibrant gathering and storytelling session will be held at the Texas Ridge Community Club Elwood Schoolhouse, where cherished memories will be shared. He will be laid to rest alongside his parents at the Moscow Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations to the MS Society or Adventist Charities as a meaningful way to honor Richard's memory.