OBITUARY

George Peter Drolsom

March 19, 1935April 6, 2019
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George Peter Drolsom died peacefully on April 6, 2019 in Jacksonville, FL.

George was born on March 19, 1935 in Chicago, IL. He was the only child of Irene H. Bovermann and Dr. George A. Drolsom. He graduated from the University of Chicago Laboratory School and then from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. When his dad (Doc) decided he wanted to raise livestock, he bought a farm in Sandwich, IL where George spent most of his childhood and learned to repair all things mechanical. He continued to help raise, buy and sell cattle until Doc’s death, at which time George quickly got rid of all things on four legs, becoming a gentleman farmer who grew corn and soybeans. While attending the University of Illinois George worked part-time at a Porsche dealership, it was the beginning of an extensive career with Porsche and a life-long love of racing. George became the first non-German in the United States employed by the Porsche factory. He learned the German language quickly and became a valuable asset to the legendary car manufacturer.

Starting in 1956, George was one of the first people to race the then-new Ford Thunderbird in Club racing, competing against the Corvettes in the B Production class. During his long tenure in USRRC and Can-Am events he won the GTU class in the 1965 Bridgehampton race. While racing his Porsche 911 in the IMSA’s Camel GT series George notched ninety-three race starts, he competed thirteen times in the 1966-83 Rolex 24 at Daytona, and drove in multiple Twelve Hours of Sebring events. In 1967 he had class wins in both the Sebring and Nassau events. George won the Porsche Cup for under 2.5 liter cars in 1975 and was one of the founders of the Concourse d’ Elegance at Amelia Island.

George was much more than a race car driver and farmer. He spent two years in the Army Reserves; he was a Master Mason, a Shriner, and a member of several organizations including: the Road Racing Drivers club, the Sports Car Club of America, Saturday Car Talk, and Wednesday Lunch Group (you know who you are.) He was intelligent, could fix just about anything, most loyal friend you could have, he loved a great joke, was an amazing cook, and the only man I ever knew who sent out Christmas cards (I still have the lists dating back to 1965.)

I would like to thank all of our friends, as well as the staff and caregivers of Visiting Angels, Baptist Hospital, Bartram Crossing and Community Hospice. The care you provide and the kindness you offered was tremendous.

George is survived by his wife of 30 years (although George always said 25) Linda, and cousin, Carl Bovermann. In lieu of flowers you may make a donation to a charity of your choice or to Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa, FL.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, May 04, 2019 in Hardage-Giddens Funeral Home of Mandarin, 11801 San Jose Boulevard, Jacksonville, FL 32223 with a Reception to follow. The family requests for friends to please bring your photos and memories to share.

A Reception will take place on July 27, 2019 at 2:00 pm at 3980 E Sandwich Rd, Sandwich, IL 60548.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of HARDAGE-GIDDENS FUNERAL HOME OF MANDARIN, 11801 San Jose Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32223. www.hgmandarin.com (904) 288-0025.

Services

  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, May 4, 2019

  • Reception

    Saturday, May 4, 2019

Memories

George Peter Drolsom

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Alfredo Mena

May 23, 2021

George and I bécame friends in 1983 racing in IMSA, Central America, and the Caribbean. I had bought the Brumos Porsche 924 GTR, and since George had one, we shared a couple of races in my car! Had the honor to meet his mother in Sandwich IL during one of my tríps when we raced my car in Elkhart Lake WI. I visited him in Mandarin with my youngest son Victor, who was studying at the University of Florida in Gainesville at the time, a couple of months before his passing. May he rest in peace!

Patrick Pilcher

January 29, 2021

I want to share my belated condolences to the family. George was someone I met when I was 21 and had just come to work for Rexroat Porsche Audi , East Moline, IL in '79. Unbeknownst to me initially (due to his humility and approachability) George was a partner in that dealership and as time progressed and I picked his brain, he became the epitome of a Porsche savant. I was a new to that world but George helped me learn and made it very "normal" to be passionate in his demeanor.

He was kind, generous, and quickly recognized my enthusiasm. He then exposed me to motorsports by inviting me to come help "crew" (which meant that I wiped up stuff at the trailer and did my best to stay out of the way in the pits) for him at Road America that year. Although I was only at Rexroat for a year--I ultimately ending up with Brumos P/A in Atlanta, then the premier enthusiast dealership in the country. The seeds George and others planted gave me true passion for the marque and racing and my life changed--to this day I am recognized as a "P" car "guy" to most anyone who knows me. I also went on to be involved in motorsports and I will forever be grateful for his impact in my life.

Fast forward to 1990 and I'd recently moved to Mandarin, FL and was heading down Mandarin Rd when I recognized an IL Dealer tag on an Audi (I believe) with 223 on the tag...I remembered that George had a residence in FL and as I was behind him, flashed my lights and motioned for him to pull over...he did and when he got out he recognized me and we had a great chat.

In any event, I will always remember his down to earth ways and humility. That he remained so competitive for so long is a testimony to his enthusiasm and passion for racing. He was a true ambassador and will be missed for far more than his accomplishments on the track. May he RIP. God bless, you George.

Deirdre Dougherty Banks

April 21, 2019

My parents and George were friends and always got to see each other when he use to drive and the circuit would bring him to Road Atlanta. I always thought I was a cool kid because I knew an actual Racecar driver. He was always so kind to me as a child, many fond memories. But I will always cherish my photo of him that he signed, Love and Loipops.

John and Kathy Wagner

April 10, 2019

George was such a good friend and neighbor. Always loved his visits when he came back to Sandwich. He will be greatly missed.

John Oates

April 9, 2019

Thoughts and prayers from my family to yours...I have such fond memories of George who I met through our mutual friend Richard Lloyd. His generosity and trust to allow me to drive with him during the 1980s Porsche IMSA races will always remain a highlight in my life.

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