Soccer 02

Christopher Wheaton Drew

May 24, 1953 ~ December 30, 2023 (age 70) 70 Years Old

Christopher Drew Obituary

Christopher Wheaton Drew of Cranston, RI died December 30, 2023 at HopeHealth Hulitar Hospice Center in Providence, RI, aged 70.


Chris was born in Providence on May 24, 1953 to Elizabeth (née Morrish) and Robert Drew of Cranston. The second of five musical siblings, he played saxophone and was a drum major for the Cranston High School West marching band. Chris was elected Class President before graduating in 1971. School faculty named him the Ideal Cranstonian, a prestigious honor that recognized his personal achievements, his service to the community, and his dedication and integrity.


After attending Ithaca College, Chris returned home to Cranston to take over the family business, Drew Oil Corp. As the owner of this nearly 100-year-old petroleum distributor, he put in long hours to make sure that every family stayed warm and every business kept running.


In 1973 Chris was the best man at his brother Bob’s wedding, where he met maid of honor Merrill Diodati. They walked down the aisle, out of the church, and into a 50 year romance. Chris and Merrill were married in 1975 at Phillips Memorial Baptist Church and settled in Cranston, where they raised two sons, Christian and Eric.


When his boys started playing soccer, Chris volunteered as the Coordinator of Recreational Soccer for the Cranston League for Cranston’s Future. Over his 3-year term, he and his dedicated friends built a well-run program for all levels of youth soccer and increased the number of participating children from 300 to over 1,000. And when Christian and Eric started playing for the Cranston West Falcons, Chris volunteered as the Assistant Soccer Coach and helped coach the team to a State Championship in 1996. In recognition of his continued commitment, Chris was honored with the Lyle Perra award for service to youth soccer in Cranston.


Chris developed life-long friendships with other soccer parents, and was a dedicated member of a regular Tuesday afternoon golf league. He loved to golf, and regularly drove down to South Carolina in the spring with his brothers, sons, and nephews to get in some rounds while the snow was still on the ground in Rhode Island. In 2016 he won the Valley Country Club Member-Guest Tournament with his son Christian. Not even his subsequent stroke could keep him off the golf course or away from adventures with his grandchildren. 


Chris is survived by his wife Merrill, his son Christian and his wife Alyssa, his son Eric and his wife Linnea, and his beloved grandchildren Christopher, Molly, Arcadia, and Betsy. He brought laughter and joy to the large Drew family gatherings, and will be greatly missed by his mother Elizabeth Drew, his brother Robert Drew and his wife Dr. Judi Drew, his brother John Drew and his wife Gianna Menapace-Drew, his sister Wendy Ardagna and her husband Nick Ardagna, his brother Greg Drew and his wife Vicki Drew, and his many nieces and nephews. Chris was predeceased by his father, Robert, in 2014.


Calling hours will be on Saturday, Jan. 13, from 10:00 AM until 12:00 noon at "WOODLAWN" Funeral Home, 600 Pontiac Ave., Cranston, RI. Services will be held on the same day at the funeral home at 12:00 noon, followed immediately by procession to Highland Memorial Park Cemetery in Johnston, RI for inurnment.

The family requests that face masks be worn at the funeral home during the calling hours and service.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Chris' name to your charity of preference. 


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January 13, 2024

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Woodlawn Funeral Home
600 Pontiac Ave
Cranston, RI 02910

Funeral Service
January 13, 2024

12:00 PM
Woodlawn Funeral Home
600 Pontiac Ave
Cranston, RI 02910

January 13, 2024

1:15 PM
Highland Memorial Park, Johnston
1 Rhode Island Avenue
Johnston, RI 02919


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