Valpo Athletics Mourns the Passing of Janet Drew; Celebration of Life to be Held at ARC on Saturday, June 15

by | Jun 11, 2024 | Basketball, Headlines | 0 comments

Valpo Athletics Mourns the Passing of Janet Drew; Celebration of Life to be Held at ARC on Saturday, June 15

The Valparaiso University Department of Athletics is saddened by the loss of Janet Drew, who passed away on Saturday, June 8 in Phoenix at the age of 80.

 

Janet was the wife of legendary Valpo men’s basketball head coach Homer Drew and the mother of former Valpo player and head coach Bryce Drew, former Valpo head coach Scott Drew and Dana Drew Shaw. She was the grandmother of current Valpo men’s basketball player Isaiah Shaw. Homer served as the head coach at Valpo from 1988-2002 and 2003-2011 and was inducted to the Valpo Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011. Bryce’s memorable playing career spanned from 1994-1998 and led to his 2003 induction into the Valpo Athletics Hall of Fame.

 

Janet Demark Drew was born to Thomas and Leona Demark on December 4, 1943, in Mishawaka, Indiana and passed away on June 8, 2024, in Phoenix, Arizona. She married Homer Drew on June 10th, 1967, in Webster Groves, Missouri. To this union was born three children (Scott, Dana, and Bryce).

 

Janet grew up in Mishawaka before moving to Liberty, Missouri where she was valedictorian of Liberty High School. She then graduated from the University of Missouri Summa Cum Laude in 1966. She began her teaching career in Webster Groves where she met her husband, Homer. That was the beginning of the “Drew Crew.”

 

Janet and Homer lived in St. Louis, Missouri as he began his coaching career with stops in Lee’s Summit (MO), Pullman (WA), Baton Rouge (LA), Mishawaka (IN), and Valparaiso (IN). Janet was the rock and heartbeat of the family, and she could be seen cheering from the stands as she supported her husband, children, and grandchildren. What was not seen was the endless encouragement, support, and prayers for not just her family, but all those who were blessed to meet her. Her beautiful smile and approachable countenance reflected her strong faith in Jesus, her Lord and Savior.

 

Although her greatest joy was being with her family, Janet taught elementary school and mentored student-teachers both which came natural for her. She was a resource for so many coaches’ wives as they navigated being wives and moms in a demanding profession. She was also an advocate for cancer patients having herself been a bladder and breast cancer survivor while supporting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) as she became a type 1 diabetic in her 60s. Janet was an amazingly strong woman and competitor, whether on the backyard basketball court, or in life, and she taught her kids and grandkids to find their strength in the Lord whom she walked faithfully with every day.

 

Janet is survived by her husband, Homer Drew, her three children, Scott and his wife, Kelly Drew of Waco, Texas, Dana and her husband, Casey Shaw of Phoenix, Arizona, and Bryce and his wife, Tara Drew of Phoenix Arizona, eight grandchildren, Anna, Isaiah, Caleb, and Luke Shaw; Mackenzie, Peyton, and Brody Drew; and Bryson Drew.

 

A Celebration of Life will be held at Valparaiso University in the Athletics Recreation Center on Saturday, June 15 from 2–5 p.m. with brief remarks at 4 p.m. (casual attire). As per her request, a private family burial will be held on Sunday. Memorials may be made to JDRF.

 

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