Benjamin A. Drose, known to his friends as Benny, and to his oldest friends simply as "Chico," went to be with the Lord on July 28, 2012 in Kailua, Hawaii at the age of 79. At the time of his passing he was a resident of Citrus Springs, FL and was a member of the Springs Presbyterian Church.
Benny was born in Puunene, Maui, Hawaii in 1933 and grew up in Honolulu. He was a 1952 graduate of Maryknoll High School in Honolulu, lettering in football and baseball. He served 4 years in the Hawaii National Guard and as a flight engineer in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean Conflict. As a civilian, he was employed by Eastern Airlines for 29 years as a jet mechanic, and in the same capacity for Capital Airlines, Chrysler Aviation, Aviall and General Electric. While employed with Pratt and Whitney in the 1960s, he was part of a team that tested the Saturn V rocket.
Besides a life-long fascination with airplanes and aviation, Mr. Drose also was an avid sports fan, whether it be the Dolphins, Notre Dame, or any of the multiple sports in which his sons participated. He also served as both a youth baseball coach and an umpire.
During his life he traveled throughout the world and was an eyewitness to a number of historical events. As a child he was a witness to the attack on Pearl Harbor. As an adult he was a season ticket holder during the Dolphin's Perfect Season, and witnessed the fiery demise of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco and the tragic breakup of the Shuttle Discovery in the skies of Texas.
Survivors include his wife Kay, sons William, Alex and Derek, brothers Clarence and Steven, sisters Betty Souza and Anita Belles, and grandson: Tyler Drose. Mr. Drose was preceded in dealth by his parents Santos and Josephine Drose, as well as his sister Margaret Velles.
Services are to be at 11:00 am Friday, August 10, 2012 at the Springs Presbyterian Church with Dr. Keeth Staton officiating. Visitation will be from 10:00 to 11:00 am at the church. Inurnment will be at Florida National Cemetery, Bushnell, FL with full military honors.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to The Covenant Children’s Home, 11350 N. Covenant Path, Suite #100, Dunnellon, FL 34434