Don Drew poses with former New York State Gov. George Pataki in May 2008.
The family here at Denton Publications lost one of its own last week when our longest serving employee Don Drew passed away.
Don died in the early morning hours of Jan. 31 at the Horace Nye Nursing Home. He was 77.
Don was a fixture at our main offices in Elizabethtown, where he was known for being the first to arrive and the last to leave. Sixteen or even 18 hour shifts were not uncommon to Don.
He began his storied career in March of 1959 and had at one time or another done it all here from delivering newspapers to working his way into the position of production manager.
He worked through a plethora of technological advances during his four decades here, from the age of hand setting lead type to offset printing, to operating sheet-fed presses to today’s modern web presses.
A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Don was a self taught man, who prided himself in acquiring the skills needed to operate new equipment that came along as the company grew and changed with the times. He then eagerly shared that knowledge with new and existing employees, helping the company grow into the success it is today.
Don worked under three owners, first handling offset printing duties for the founder of Denton Publications William Denton Sr., then, later working with Bill Denton Jr. after he assumed the helm as president of the company and lastly under current president and CEO Dan Alexander.
Contacted in Florida, Bill Denton Jr. remembered the following about Don: “Don was one of my boyhood friends. He joined the Denton Publications family shortly after he returned from his tour in the Air Force. At that time the business consisted of just the Valley News, with my father, myself and Don putting the paper out every week.”