James Drury

James Westbrook Drury died peacefully at the age of 94 in the presence of family members on Sunday, March 3. He had suffered a fall in early February. 

Born on Feb 22, 1919 in  East St. Louis, he attended the University of Illinois for his B.A. and M.A. Degrees. His Ph.D. education began at Princeton University in the fall of 1940 but was interrupted in 1941 by World War II.   

His Army assignments were all in the Signal Corp and in Military Intelligence. He spent most of wartime in Washington D.C. and was promoted to Major. He was active in the US Army Reserve program and served as the commanding officer of the 468th Strategic Intelligence Unit (Lawrence). He retired from the Army as Colonel. 
He met Florence (Danny) Daniels in Washington, D.C. during wartime, and they married on December 11, 1943.   They raised three children in Lawrence and recently celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary. 
Drury was employed by the University of Kansas in the fall of 1947, and he retired in 1989 after many productive years of teaching in the political science department. His special teaching interests were in public administration, personnel administration, and the government of Kansas. For a number of years he was the Undergraduate Advisor in Personnel Administration. His book, The Government of Kansas, is now in its fifth edition.  He also taught for a number of years in the KU City Manager training program.
He was granted a number of leaves of absences from the university, allowing him worldwide travel experiences. Highlights of these travels included a visiting professorship in Sendai, Japan in 1954, through a Fulbright grant. In 1961-62 he and his family lived in Lahore, Pakistan where he helped to establish a department of Public Administration at the University of Punjab, thus aiding  the fledgling democracy in Pakistan.  He participated in University exchange programs in San Jose, Costa Rica in 1965-6 and in Warsaw, Poland in 1980.
His longest leave of absence was to serve from 1969 to 1976 as the Director of the Legislative Research Department of the Kansas Legislature in Topeka. 
He was chairman of the Lawrence Library Board and was actively involved with the Personnel Administration Society.
He is survived by his wife Florence (Danny) Drury; three children – Jonathan Daniels Drury in Lawrence, Jane Drury of Shawnee, Kansas,  and Ann (Drury) Heyse of St. Louis MO, and their spouses, eight grandchildren, and one great grandchild. 
Jim’s influence was wide, and he will be remembered as a man with principles, integrity, deep love for his wife and family, kindness, and generosity. 
Memorial contributions could be made to the Political Science Department Development Fund at KU or the Good Samaritan fund at the Presbyterian Manor of Lawrence and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.  
****A Celebration of Life  service will be held at 1:00 p.m., Sunday, May 5, 2013 at Lied Center on the KU Campus.


7 Condolences

  1. Jim Amos on March 5, 2013 at 9:34 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like he had an eventful life.

  2. Laura Decedue on March 5, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    I am deeply saddened to hear about Jim’s passing. Some of my best childhood memories are of talking to him while he tended to his presidential monikered tomatoes. He always had time for Chris and I, and great words of wisdom tempered with humor. My thoughts are with all of you.

  3. Johann and Jane Eiselen on March 6, 2013 at 5:07 am

    Even when not entirely unexpected any passing is always a deeply felt. We trust that Danny and the family will experience grace in their grief.

    It was a great privilage to have met Jim and being able to spend some time listening to his great knowledge about the US political system. As a young diplomat posted to the US some 35 years ago gave me very valuable insight.

  4. Liesel Eiselen on March 6, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Could you please correct my entry to read:
    We were all blessed that he was part of our lives for so long. Daddy will always be remembered fondly, also by many in South Africa.

  5. Betty Laird on March 7, 2013 at 9:52 am

    My condolences to Danny and the rest of the family. Jim was a great guy, and he will be sorely missed.
    Betty Laird

  6. Denis W. Heller on March 7, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Rest in peace dear friend.

  7. Kenneth Kirkpatrick on March 7, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Though my time spent with Jim was infrequent & often short, I always looked forward to that time. Life’s Blessings to Danny and the whole family. My thoughts & prayers are with you, now and in the future.

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