Gene B. Drumheller
July 15, 1948 – March 23, 2020
Gene Barry Drumheller, only child of Glenn Drumheller and Marilyn Brenner, was born in Arlington, Virginia on July 15, 1948. A child of divorce at the age of 3, his mother remarried to Chester Robey, who raised him.
August 5, 1971, at the age of 23 he was united in marriage at the St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Falls Church, Virginia to Linda Jo Hill, age 20, originally from Arkansas. (Most people did not believe the marriage would last as they met the first day of spring (March 20) when his future wife, with two girlfriends, flagged him and a buddy down on Route 66. Five months later they were married. (Forty-eight years of marriage has proved the above belief wrong.) They attended the United Methodist Church in Springfield where they also renewed their vows. Their son was enrolled in the church school.
Anyone who met Bear (his family called him Barry but his wife nicknamed him Bear so Bear he was to their friends and her family) was one of the nicest, most genial person you could ever meet. He was laid back, friendly, and always had a smile for everyone. Family was very important to him. There were a lot of family weekend camping trips, with father and son spent fishing. He loved to cut up, and tease especially his sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law and various friends.
He liked muscle cars with big V-8 engines. He had bought a Mach 1 Mustang several months before he met his future wife. She always kidded him about the reason he married her so fast was so that he would have a second income to help pay off the Mach 1. His last muscle car was an Olds Cutlass Sedan 442. He saw it on the dealer’s parking lot on a weekend and couldn’t wait for Monday so he could go in and buy it. He almost had a hissy fit that someone had put 30 miles on it. Throughout his lifetime he held various positions: as a bricklayer, a school janitor, a plumber’s assistant with J.H. Hughes, maintenance engineer at Lee Gardens Apartments, 3rd class steam engineer for several companies in District of Columbia, The Washington Post, U.S. Department of Agriculture and finally, the Udvar-Hazy Air & Space Museum in Chantilly, Virginia until he was forced to retire due to illness. After The Washington Post, he joined the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 99 Chapter. He served as Recording Secretary for the Maryland NAPE Chapter 14 in 1976. Working days and attending Union classes at night, he would arrive home around 11:30 p.m. where Linda would have supper ready. They would eat, go to bed and start all over again until he finished all his classes.
Licenses he held: 3rd Class District of Columbia 2nd Class NIUPLE 2nd Class Maryland CFC Universal He had also completed the 1st Class License Upgrade program at the University of District of Columbia but did not set for the license as 9 – 11 occurred.
As to his illness, he contracted a non-contagious mycobacterium abscessus infection in the Tuberculosis family. He overcame this but lost his hearing in 2016 from one of the intravenous drugs that was administered. Sadly, a worse mycobacterium infection struck shortly after. Still non-contagious and in the Tuberculosis family, but people do not recover from this bug. As Bear had become so frail and lost so much weight (down from 196 to 115 lbs. over the years) he was unable to undergo the aggressive treatment once more. He entered the Hospice Stay-at-Home program on January 12, 2020. After almost twelve years of fighting this disease, at the age of 71, he departed this life at 7:20 p.m. Monday, March 23, 2020 at his home in Falls Church, Virginia, with his wife and son by his side.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his step-father, and half-sister, Scharl Robey Baldwin. He is survived by his spouse, Linda and son, Timothy as well as a half-brother, Ray Robey of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
He was a devoted, loving husband, father and caring friend. He developed the habit regardless where he was or who was present, to suddenly declare to his wife, “Boo, I love you.” Of course, the response was, “I love you too.” For anyone who knew him in life, if you saw one without the other, you knew the other one wasn’t far behind. They were a matched set. We celebrate his life today and know his family and friends will always cherish the wonderful memories they shared with him throughout the years.
He will be sorely missed by all, but especially by his wife and son who love him dearly and miss him already. But they know he is no longer in pain and is now reunited with family and friends gone before him, but most importantly, with our Lord, and that one day they will be reunited with him once more in Heaven.
Due to the restrictions placed on the Funeral industry regarding the Coronavirus, only ten people are allowed at the viewing and/or funeral at one time. Private services will be held at National Funeral Home followed by a committal service at National Memorial Park. If you wish to send flowers, please send to the Funeral Home on Monday, March 30, 2020 in the morning. Cards can be mailed to the residence: 1910 Pimmit Drive, Falls Church, Virginia 22043.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Gene B. Drumheller
March 26, 2020
To the Family of Gene Drumheller,
I am so sorry to hear of Gene's recent passing. It is very sad to lose one of our G.C. Marshall family. Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss. I will pray for your peace in the absence of Gene.
Again, I am so sorry.
Judy Ransom Hubbard
Class of 68
March 26, 2020
To the entire Drumheller family,
My sincere condolences Linda and your family in your loss of Gene. I was a schoolmate of Gene's at George Marshall High School. I too, did not know Gene personally, but knew of him and am always saddened when we lose a fellow classmate. May the love and prayers of family and friends bring you peace and comfort at this sad time.
Lynne Gobely Wakefield
March 26, 2020
Please except my sincere condolences to Gene’s family. It’s always hard when we lose another member of our George C Marshall HS family. He sounded like a wonderful man. RIP Gene.
March 26, 2020
Dear Linda, Timothy, and Family,
My sincere condolences to you at this most difficult time. I am a classmate of Gene's from George C. Marshall High School. I didn't know Gene personally in high school, but we had later contact during class reunion times. At this time when many are in crisis, my thoughts and prayers are especially with you.
Glenda McGuire Sigg, GCM Class of '68