Walter Harlow Drew
Walter (Wally) Harlow Drew, 85, of Menasha, Wisc. and Amelia Island, Fla., passed away peacefully on June 20, 2020 at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center.
Wally was born in 1935 in Chicago, Ill. and was the son of Marion (Heineman) and Ben Drew. In 1957, he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Bachelor of Science and a commission in the U.S. Navy. As a line officer, he served on active duty for two years in the Western Pacific. In 1959, he married Gracia McKenzie, whom he had met his junior year at UW-Madison. They were married in June 1959, within a few weeks of Wally’s return from active duty, from which he was honorably discharged as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Reserve in 1961.
Wally had a storied 30-year career (1959-1988) at Kimberly-Clark Corporation, rising through the ranks of various sales, marketing, and management positions that culminated in an executive vice president role in which he served until he retired in 1988. He became president and chief executive officer of Menasha Corporation from 1989 until 1992, at which time he retired from corporate life. From 1992 until his passing, Wally and Gracia traveled extensively around the globe, sailed to many ports, enjoyed boating in the waters of Green Bay, played many rounds of golf, cheered on the Badgers and Packers, and loved spending time with friends and family. Wally and Gracia recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in the Galapagos Islands with their children and grandchildren, who respected and loved their “Pop” tremendously and will miss his wonderful stories and sound advice.
Wally held a number of corporate and charitable board positions and was a true civic leader with a strong and decisive voice. His corporate board director positions included Fox Cities Bank of Neenah, Wisc.; Schneider National Inc. of Green Bay, Wisc.; and Universal Foods of Milwaukee, Wisc. His many charitable board appointments included UW-Madison Foundation Board; UW-Madison Business School Board of Visitors (past chairman); ThedaCare Regional Medical Center Board (past chairman); Novus Health Group of Appleton, Wisc. (past trustee); Wisconsin Taxpayers’ Alliance Board; Fox Cities Racquet Club; Camp Manito-Wish YMCA; North Shore Golf Club of Menasha (past president); North Shore Condominium Association (past president); and Hidden Harbor Condominium Association of Fish Creek, Wisc. (past president).
Wally is survived by Gracia, his wife of 61 years; their children, Jeff (Julie, dec. 2019), Drew, and Martha (Brian) Silberman; grandchildren, Ben (Megan) Drew, Jeffrey Jr. “JJ” Drew, Jack (Jasmin) Silberman, Claire Silberman, and Ruthie Silberman; a brother, Michael Drew; and a sister, Elizabeth Drew.
Services will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to either UW-Madison Foundation or ThedaCare Regional Medical Center. Wally’s family would like to extend a special thank you to the doctors and nursing staff at ThedaCare Regional Medical Center-Neenah for the wonderful care they provided.
To express condolences, visit www.westgorfuneralhomes.com.
Westgor Funeral Home