James H. Drees, 84, Hays, died Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, at Hays Medical Center.
He was born June 25, 1934, in Hays to Jack A. and Mildred A. (Joy) Drees. He attended St. Joseph’s Catholic grade school and graduated from St. Joseph’s Military Academy in 1952. In 1967, he graduated from Fort Hays Kansas State College with a B.S. degree in Business.
He married Alice M. Schmidt on Nov. 26, 1955, in Goodland. She preceded him in death Sept. 5, 1993. He managed Drees New Method Cleaners, and in 1999 he retired as a property appraiser for Shawnee County. His was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, St. Joseph Third Degree Knights of Columbus Council No. 1325, the Bishop Cunningham Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, the Senior Companion Program at Fort Hays State University and Toastmasters. His favorite hobbies were his grandchildren, watching British mystery shows, and watching NFL football and rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs.
Survivors include six children, Janet M. Keller, James D. Drees, Carol J. Drees, Michael J. Drees and wife Sonya, and Thomas J. Drees and wife Patricia, all of Hays, and Daniel J. Drees and companion Emiko Shishido of Fukushima City, Japan; five grandchildren, Christopher R. Keller of Newton, Samantha M. Drees of Overland Park, Derek M. Drees of Hays, Anne K. Drees and husband Shae Koerner of La Crosse, and John T. Drees of Lawrence; a sister-in-law, Venita Sanders of Richmond, Va., and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, an infant daughter, Mary C. Drees, an infant son, Gary R. Drees, a sister Sylvia A. Mori, a brother Donald E. Drees, and a brother-in-law, Gary Schmidt.
Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 201 W. 13th, with Father Fred Gatschet officiating. Burial will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 until 8 p.m. Friday and from 9:30 until 10:15 a.m. Saturday, all at the Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, 1906 Pine Street. The Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus will stand honor guard beginning at 5:30 p.m., a parish vigil service will be at 6:30 p.m., and a combined Third and Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus rosary will be at 7 p.m., all on Friday at the funeral home.
Memorials are suggested to Thomas More Prep-Marian High School, Ellis County Historical Society, St. Joseph Church or to the Hays Senior Companion Program in care of the funeral home. Condolences and memories of James may be shared with the family at www.haysmemorial.com.