UPDATE: This article has been updated to include information from Denzil Drewry’s obituary. This article has also been updated to include comments made in memory of Drewry during a Select Board meeting earlier this week.
WESTBOROUGH – Westborough is mourning the passing of former Selectman and Vietnam War veteran Denzil “Denny” Drewry.
His obituary is now available online.
Drewry’s daughter, Jamie Grenier previously announced this news in a Facebook post on Tuesday, prompting an outpouring of support and memories from community members.
“The world lost an incredible man today,” Grenier wrote. “My dad, Denny Drewry, passed away early this morning. He fought a long and hard battle for months. Not sure I could have fought a day of it like he did.
“He faced every day with strength and courage, and on a good day lots of jokes,” she continued. “To the end, he showed me what kind of a man he was, and I’m so proud that he is my dad.”
Drewry, who was 76, was raised in Eastport and Orono, Maine. He was remembered in his obituary as a jokester as a kid, “often getting into innocent mischief and telling quite a tale to his teachers to get out of trouble.”
Drewry enlisted in the Army in 1966. He eventually served as a Green Beret in the Vietnam War, completing three years of active duty and another eight spent in the Reserves.
He earned a Bronze Star for valor and received a Purple Heart after he suffered wounds during combat. He also received his Paratrooper Wings and Combat Infantry Badge.
He later co-founded and acted as the CFO of Fishing With Warriors, which is a non-profit therapeutic program.
Drewry was honored as the Westborough Veteran of the Year in 2019.
“I respect him and love him so much, especially for the passion he brought regarding issues around veterans,” former Selectman George Barrette said during that 2019 ceremony. “That passion has rubbed off in every other single thing he has done. He walks the walk every single day.”
Drewry served as a selectman for six terms, working on memorial committees that were responsible for memorials in town marking the Vietnam War and the War on Terrorism.
Drewry helped Westborough become the second community in the state to be designated a Purple Heart Town and joined other communities in celebrating their designations in recent years.
He was honored during a Select Board meeting on Tuesday with a moment of silence.
Select Board member Shelby Marshall said Drewry’s life was one of “service, love, laughter and kindness.” She remembered his “big personality.”
“You knew when he was in the room. He was firm in his views and didn’t hesitate to share them. He was a big teddy bear and he was kind,” Marshall said.
She remembered Drewry’s jokes and how he “rarely left a conversation without a smile and his hearty laugh.”
Marshall noted Drewry’s service on a number of town boards, Rotary Club and Civic Club. He also coached youth football, basketball and baseball.
“On behalf of the board and the town, we extend our deepest sympathies to [his family],” Marshall said.
Drewry’s funeral will take place this coming Monday at 10 a.m at the First United Methodist Church in Westborough. Calling hours are scheduled for Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Pickering and Son Funeral Home.
There will be a burial with honors at Pine Grove Cemetery.