Martin Allen Drew (affectionately known as “Drew”) was a native of Sussex County, Delaware. He was born in Millville, Delaware to the late Orlando Milton Drew, Sr. and Eleanor Thornton Drew on May 3, 1944. Martin departed this life on Thursday, December 31, 2020 at Kent General Hospital in Dover, Delaware. He was preceded in death by his parents, Orlando and Eleanor Drew; his brothers, Fred Drew, Orlando Drew, Jr., Elwood Drew, Stephen Drew, and Edward Drew; and his daughter, Monique A. Drew-Woodley.
He was educated in the public schools of Delaware where he attended Frankford Elementary School in Frankford, Delaware and the William C. Jason High School in Georgetown, Delaware. After completing high school, he went on to Delaware State College (now Delaware State University) in Dover, Delaware where he majored in English and Foreign Languages. He graduated in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Education.
Drew was a true scholar and educator. He continued his education by completing a Master’s Degree in Liberal Education from St. John’s College in Santa Fé, New Mexico in 1974 and another Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Bernard M. Baruch College in New York City in 1975. He completed hisDoctoral studies at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida in 1997, earning a Doctorate Degree in Education with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction.
In 1965, he moved to New York City and began his career as an English teacher with the New York City Board of Education. In 1966, he married his college sweetheart, Miss Sharon Dixon from Chester, Pennsylvania. From this union were three daughters, thelate Monique Antoinette Drew-Woodley, Nicole Yvette Drew, and Mikelle Lynette Drew-Pellum.
As an educator, Dr. Drew was an English teacher in Brooklyn, New York from 1965-1975; Assistant Principal from 1975-1981 in East Harlem, New York; Junior High School Principal from 1981-1995;and served as the Mentor for New Principals for the New York City Board of Education from 1995-1997. After retirement, he became an adjunct professor at Fordham University in the Bronx, New Yorkform 1997-1999. In the fall of 1999, Dr. Drew became a full-timeprofessor of Education at the Lincoln University in Pennsylvania from 1999-2004. He later joined the faculty at Delaware State University in 2004 where he served as a Professor of English and World Literature until his retirement in May 2015 after 50 years of service in Education.
Drew was a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. In February 1963, he was inducted into the Psi Epsilon Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity at then Delaware State College. He proudly served as the chapter’s KRS and later the Basileus. Heserved as Chaplain for Nu Upsilon Chapter in Wilmington for two years. He was awarded the Omega Man of the Year by his New York Omega Chapter and later received the award from the Psi Iota Chapter in Dover, Delaware.
He accepted Christ in his life at an early age in Union Wesley United Methodist Church in Clarksville, Delaware. During his years in New York, Drew was active in Bethel AME Church in Far Rockaway and St. Paul AME Church in Rockville Centre, where he served as a Trustee and the Lay Organization President. Drew loved to sing and became a member of several choirs. Upon moving back to Delaware in 2000, he became a member of Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Delaware under the Pastorate of Rev. Dr. Silvester S. Beaman. At Bethel, he sang with the Men’s Choir and The King of Kings Gospel Choir. He also devoted numerous years to AME Church’s Lay Organization. He served as the president of the Katherine B. Ross Lay Organization for eight years, President of the Delaware Conference Lay Organization for six years, 2nd Vice-President for the Delaware Conference Lay for eight years, a Class Leader, and was a teacher for the New Members class. He also served as 3rd Vice-President for the First Episcopal District Lay Organization.
Drew was faithfully devoted to his alma mater, Delaware State. While residing in New York City, he served as the President of the New York Chapter of the Delaware State College (University) Alumni Association. After returning to Delaware, he served as President and Vice President of the New Castle County Alumni Chapter. He also served as the 1st Vice-President for the Delaware State National Alumni Association, member of the Delaware Historical Society, member of the Sussex County Historical Society, and President of The Family and Friends of Wesley.
He was the recipient of numerous awards some of which include Lay Person of the Year in the Delaware Conference, Outstanding Alumni awarded by the New York Alumni Chapter and by the Delaware State University National Alumni Association, and Professor of the Year by Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Inc.
Drew was a fun-loving guy who loved people, was a master teacher, and a devoted family man. If you met him once, you would never forget his humor and love for people. Whether you were family, one of his students, or just a chance encounter, you would have heard stories about his beloved “Dog Patch.” If you were lucky, you got a chance to see him do the “Booty Green” dance or even the “Drew Shuffle.” (To date, no one is certain what moves either of these dances entail.) He spent much of his time mentoring youth either through the classroom, Boy Scouts, or teaching drama. One of his notable performances was a rendition as Purlie in Purlie Victoriousand performances with his daughters in a rendition of A Raisin in the Sun. He was an avid history buff and adored spending time with hisfamily. He loved to travel with his cherished “honey bun” (aka Sharon). Drew was also a published author. Part of his published works include his family genealogy and the History of theBlackwater Colored School, Clarksville, Delaware. The Blackwater Colored School building is one of the oldest remaining schoolhouses that predate the DuPont schools in Delaware which were built to educate Blacks in Delaware. Drew was instrumental in making this a historical site in Delaware.
Drew leaves to cherish his memories: his devoted wife of 54 years and caregiver during his illness – Sharon of Smyrna, Delaware; daughters – Nicole Y. Drew, Esq. of Burtonsville, Maryland and Mikelle L. Drew-Pellum (John) of Union, New Jersey; he enjoyed his six grandchildren – Andre Sean Woodley, Jr. of Miami, Florida, Anthony Mosley, Jr. of Dover, Delaware, Ciara Mosley of Dallas, Texas, Martinique Drew Woodley of Los Angeles, California, ImaniA.N. Drew of Burtonsville, Maryland, and Denise Woodley of Charlotte, North Carolina; two sisters – Catherine Drew Walters-Jenkins (Harvey) and Rev. Claudia Drew-Waters (Morris), both of Clarksville, Delaware; two aunts – Loretta Drew Chowdhurry of Dover, Delaware and Delores Thorogood Miller of Brookhaven, Pennsylvania; three sons-in-law – Anthony Mosley of Greensboro, North Carolina, Andre Woodley of Dallas, Texas, and John C. Pellum, III of Union, New Jersey; seven sisters-in-law – FrancesDrew of Henderson, North Carolina, Yvonne Carrington-Payne and Dietra Carroll both of Chester, Pennsylvania, Delores Drew-Thompson of Charleston, South Carolina; Patricia Carroll of Charlotte, North Carolina, Valerie Carroll of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Cynthia Drew of Dover, Delaware; four brothers-in-law – Harvey Jenkins and Morris Waters of Clarksville, Delaware, Raymond Carroll, Jr. of Chester, Pennsylvania, andLinton Carroll of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; three God-children –Kelli Miller of Wilmington, Delaware, Jocelyn Carroll-Fofie of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Dominique Stamp of Chester, Pennsylvania; close family friend/adopted brother Joseph Deloach; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Dr. Drew lived by the words of the song: “If I can help somebody along the way, then my living shall not be in vain.” He was loved by many and will be missed.