John Drexel III

Obituary of John Drexel III

John R. Drexel III died on April 13 at his home in Newport, Rhode Island, at the age of 87. Born in New York City to John Rozet Drexel Jr. and Elizabeth Thompson, he descended from Anthony J. Drexel, the founder of Drexel University in Philadelphia and was related to St. Katharine Drexel, founder of the Order of the Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament. Devoutly religious, he served on the board of the Priory of St. John of Jerusalem in New York City and on the vestries of the Church of the Resurrection in New York, St. John's Church in Newport and Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach. To one of his grandsons on the occasion of his first Holy Communion he once wrote, "People will tell you that faith is just a crutch - of course it is, and you must hold on to it because the time will come when it is the greatest support in your life." Mr. Drexel spent much of his childhood in Neuilly, France, where his grandmother lived. Educated at St. Mark's School and Harvard College, he married Noreen Stonor, the daughter of Lord and Lady Camoys of Stonor Park, Henley, England, at the beginning of World War II. The Drexels lived in New York City, Newport, Rhode Island and Palm Beach where he was on the board of the Good Samaritan Hospital. He served on the boards of numerous clubs: Spouting Rock Beach Association, Clambake Club and the Reading Room in Newport; the Bath and Tennis and Everglades Clubs in Palm Beach; and the Jupiter Island Club in Hobe Sound. He was a member of the Knickerbocker, Union and River Clubs in New York. He loved yachting, belonged to the New York Yacht Club and was an avid America's Cup fan. He was always stylishly dressed but advised one of his sons-in-law "Be sure to take off your necktie before going into the delivery room, or she's liable to use it to grab you by the neck." His friends saw in him the epitome of personal kindness, excellent judgement and wise advice. Mr. Drexel is survived by his wife Noreen; three children, Pamela Drexel of New York, NY; John R. Drexel IV of Millerton, NY; and Noreen Drexel O'Farrell of Jamestown, RI.; seven grandchildren, Andrew Bradford Hastings and James Drexel Walker, Nicholas Astor Drexel, and William James, Fergus John, Aidan Thomas and Finnian David O'Farrell; and three great grand children, Erin, Jordyn and Jackson Walker. Funeral Service will be held at 11 AM on Wednesday, April 18, 2007 at Emmanuel Church, 40 Dearborn Street, Newport. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, contributions to the Newport Hospital, 11 Friendship Street, Newport, RI 02840 would be appreciated.
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