SCOTT DREYER: Celebrating The Remarkable Life Of Ken Dreyer

Ken and Jane Dreyer, celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary in 2021.

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints. — Psalm 116:15 (ESV)

Kenneth Dreyer, age 91 of Hardy, passed away Saturday, September 17, 2022, which was Constitution Day. Ken was born in Sellersburg, Indiana on January 11, 1931, the son of Roy Kenneth and Ruth Dreyer, and grew up during the Great Depression and WWII. He married his teenage sweetheart, Jane, in 1951. Five months later, he was drafted and served in the army in the Korean War from 1951-1953. He later attended Butler University Pharmacy School and was then hired by Eli Lilly, who transferred him to Roanoke in 1965.

Ken was known for his humility, humor, friendliness, service, zest for living, and desire to always be learning and experiencing something new. He loved retirement and travel. He and Jane visited all 50 states and all the continents except Australia and Antarctica. However, his favorite was time with family at Holden Beach and Smith Mountain Lake, where they lived for 38 years. He was an active, dedicated deacon at Halesford Baptist Church and volunteered for years with the Gideons and Meals on Wheels.

He is survived by his wife Jane, his wife of 71 years; and children, Larry (Sharon), Diane Ribble, Mark (Elizabeth), Scott (Deborah); 10 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers please make contributions to the Gideons International, P. O. Box 915, Rocky Mount, VA  24151

Funeral services will be conducted at Halesford Baptist Church, 2:00 p.m. Thursday, September 22, 2022, which is the first day of autumn. Interment will follow in Old Dominion Memorial Gardens (7271 Cloverdale Road, Roanoke, VA). His family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Arrangements by Flora Funeral Service and Cremation Center, Rocky Mount/Smith Mountain Lake.

Ken Dreyer riding his bicycle on the day after he turned 90 (!)
Ken Dreyer riding his bicycle on the day after he turned 90 (!)

Read the obituary and sign the guest book here

Read The Roanoke Star’s columns about their 70th anniversary and 71st anniversary.

View Ken Dreyer’s interview about his service in the Korean War here.


A verse Ken Dreyer loved to talk about and put into practical action:

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.  — Isaiah 55:11


Lyrics from a hymn Ken Dreyer loved to sing, “It is well with my soul,” by Horatio Spafford. Amazingly, Spafford could write these inspiring words after experiencing a mind-numbing series of back-to-back disasters. In 1870 he lost his only son to scarlet fever, the next year his substantial real estate holdings were destroyed in the Great Chicago Fire, and two years after that he lost all four of his daughters when the ship they were on sank into the icy North Atlantic. You can read more of that unbelievable story here.

  1. When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well with my soul.

    • Refrain:
      It is well with my soul,
      It is well, it is well with my soul.
  2. Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
    Let this blest assurance control,
    That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
    And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
  3. My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
    My sin, not in part but the whole,
    Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
    Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!


Some beloved Ken Dreyer-isms:
  • We all get one day at a time.
  • Never pay someone to do something you can do yourself.
  • I can’t believe our grandkids are having kids now!
  • If I had died when the actuarial tables said I should have,  I’d have missed all these wonderful great-grandchildren!
  • If you live to be as old as I am, you stop buying green bananas.
  • When people would thank them for acts of their trademark generosity, he and his wife Jane would often say, We’re glad we have something to share.
  • And one he and his Jane have been saying over and over for decades:  We’ve been blessed. 


A heartfelt cry:

We all knew this day would come eventually, but it’s still such a shock and heartbreak for us all that it came. Still, we are happy for you, in heaven with Jesus and your loved ones who have gone on before. Today I was thinking how much you always loved water, like canoeing on the James, taking boat rides or windsurfing on Smith Mountain Lake, or playing in the ocean. If there are rivers or seas in heaven, you are probably having a blast riding the waves! Your celebration service will be on the first day of fall. Fall is a season of change and beauty, as we here below have to adapt to a new season without you. You always taught us to enjoy the fall colors and all of nature. But at least you won’t have to face any more winters here.
Thanks for living out Isaiah 55:11–

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
It shall not return to Me void,
But it shall accomplish what I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

We love you so much, miss you terribly, but are glad you have experienced ultimate healing now. Thanks for making the world a better place and letting us call you Dad.

Ken Dreyer with his youngest child, Scott.
Ken Dreyer with his youngest child, Scott.

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