Jerome Joseph Drahos


Jerome Joseph Drahos, called Jerry by all who loved him, died peacefully in his sleep at his home near Brule, Wisconsin. Jerry died in his cabin in the woods with his beloved wife, Debbie, at his side on October 1, 2020.

Jerry was born April 14, 1965, in Chicago, Illinois to Jerome and Janice Drahos. He faced lifelong challenges due to spina bifida. Jerry graduated from Flambeau High School in Tony, Wisconsin in 1983. Shortly after high school, Jerry began hemodialysis. He married his high school sweetheart on December 7, 1985. Following Christmas of that same year, Jerry received a kidney from his sister Christine, Chrissy, Drahos. Jerry’s life was forever changed by Chrissy’s selfless gift.

With this new life, Jerry went on to attend the University of Wisconsin- Superior. He earned a Bachelor of Science in December of 1990, a Master of Science in Education in May of 1992, and a Specialist in Education in August of 2002. In later years, Jerry was invited back to instruct courses in educational assessment at the University. As an outstanding alumni, Jerry was awarded the TRIO Achiever Award. During these years, Jerry served on the board of Directors for the Epilepsy Foundation of Northeast Minnesota and Northern Wisconsin.

In 1994, Jerry was hired as a talented Psychologist for the School District of Superior. He also served as Gifted and Talented Coordinator. Jerry was famous for a great game of Uno with his students as a means of getting to know them. Because he was so highly respected, co-workers often sought his advice. Jerry worked for the School District of Superior until 2005 when health issues began catching up with him again.

Jerry’s spirit was freed as kayaking took over for his struggling legs. His thirst for adventure took him paddling to waters all over North America. He paddled wild rivers and calm lakes, fresh waters and salty seas. Eventually, hemodialysis became part of his life once again. Even while on dialysis, Jerry continued to travel. His spirit took he and Debbie to Mexico, Nova Scotia, New York, Quebec, and Florida just to name a few. Water was always the central theme of these adventures. Jerry’s life became limited as he began peritoneal dialysis at home, but his adventures were always in his thoughts.

Jerry was a kind person with a gentle soul. Generosity, support and caring for others were part of his core that will be deeply missed by those close to him. His wit and sense of humor will not go forgotten. Jerry loved to host gatherings and cook for others. Making wine and gifting it to his friends was a much loved hobby of Jerry’s. He loved to see others’ enjoyment of his food and drink.

Jerry is survived by Deb, his wife of 34 years, his parents, Jan and Jerry Drahos of Glen Flora, Wisconsin and his four sisters: Christine Newkirk of Ladysmith, Wisconsin, Lisa Sproul of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Carol Smith of Elk Horn, Wisconsin and Julie Thorpe of Ladysmith, Wisconsin.

An important part of Jerry’s life were his dogs, Echo and Odin. His empty chair is now a sad and misunderstood part of their home.

A celebration of life was held at Wisconsin Point on Sunday, October 11, 2020 for family and a small group of friends. Wisconsin Point was one of Jerry’s beloved places on Lake Superior.

A most sincere thank you goes to the supportive staff at the Spirit Valley Dialysis Center and the Essentia Nephrology Department in Duluth, Minnesota. A special thank you is

not enough for the close circle of supportive friends who have made Jerry’s life comfortable and filled with joy for the past few difficult years.

In honor of Jerry, please consider organ donation, a donation to the National Kidney Foundation, or a donation to the Shriners Hospital for Children.

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