Berry Highland West


Mary Bates Drew

April 22, 1936April 27, 2021

Knoxville – Mary Bates Drew, age 85, died Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at Parkwest Hospital. Mary was born in Detroit, MI to Anita Bancroft Bates and Dr. Gaylord Sparhawk Bates. Mary attended the Edison Institute in Greenfield Village in Dearborn, MI after WWII and later went on to graduate from Dearborn High School. Mary went to Hiram College, in Hiram, OH, after high school with the intention of becoming a nurse. However, after two years at Hiram she switched to the University of Michigan where she earned a B.A. in History. She was drawn back to Michigan when she met and fell in love with the brother of a neighbor in Dearborn, Robert C. Drew. They married on September 7, 1957. Together Mary and Bob had three children, Mary Carolyn, Lawrence Gaylord, and Melinda Alison Drew. Bob’s career took the family to Glendale, MO where Mary went to nursing school at St. Louis College of Health Careers as soon as her youngest daughter, Melinda, started grade school full time. Mary was a nurse for thirty plus years at five different hospitals. Her last and longest position was as a Critical Care Registered Nurse at the University of Tennessee Medical Center in the Neurological Intensive Care Unit. She was at UTMC for about 25 years. Mary enjoyed playing duplicate bridge, Mexican Train, doing crossword puzzles and remembering corny jokes and limericks which she told at the drop of a hat. She also enjoyed summer vacations at the family summer place on Willoughby Lake in Westmore, VT. Mary is survived by her husband, Bob, daughter Carolyn and son Bobby as well as son Larry and his wife Cheryl. There will be no service. Those wishing to honor Mary’s life are asked to sign the back of their drivers’ license and become an organ donor, about which she was passionate; or donate to the League of Women Voters.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Mary Bates Drew

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