LTC (USAR Ret.) Paul Drewry Troxler, widower of the late JoAnn C. Troxler, died peacefully December 23, 2021, with family by his side, under the steadfast care of the nurses and staff of Azalealand Nursing Home and Hospice Savannah. Funeral Services will be held in person Thursday, December 30, 2021, at 2:00PM, at St. John’s Church Savannah (Episcopal), 1 West Macon St., Savannah, GA, 31401. The service will also be livestreamed (stjohnssav.org). The family will receive friends at the Green-Meldrim house following the service. Burial arrangements for Arlington National Cemetery will be announced later.
Drew was born March 4, 1936, in Athens, Greece, to American parents, Paul D. and Leonora Troxler of Virginia. Drew was the eldest son of an international engineer and that life experience led to an adventurous childhood overseas exploring the ancient ruins of Greece and Tripoli, Libya. This extraordinary early life fostered his knack for learning foreign languages (Greek, French, Italian, Arabic and a bit of Vietnamese) and formed his gregarious personality. He attended 4 different high schools and graduated from The Hill School in Pottstown, PA, Class of ’54.
A veritable Renaissance man, Drew was ever faithful to God, Country and family. His deep faith comforted him throughout life and sculpted his character. He served the church through the Vestry, the Men of St. John’s, and as a civil engineer reviewing restoration of the roof and parapets of the parish house, officially known as the Green-Meldrim House. He was a lifetime member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Kappa Alpha Order.
Drew honored his family’s long tradition of military service beginning with VMI (Class of ’58), where he followed his father’s and great uncle’s footsteps and earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He was married, commissioned upon graduation, and first stationed at Yorktown and later Fort Benning. In 1963 he worked for the U.S Army Corps of Engineers in Savannah, GA, and then took a job with a private company in North Augusta, SC. It was there he worked on the Lynes Parkway design. He spent 30 years in private consulting, engineering and construction and industrial development firms in Augusta and Savannah, GA, including Union Camp Corp. Branigar Division developing Skidaway Island, the GA Ports Authority as Asst. Dir. Engineering, Planning & Maintenance; followed by 20 years with U.S. Dept. Navy NAVFAC as a structural engineer at NSB Kings Bay, GA, and EFA CHESAPEAKE- WNY – Washington, D.C., aka the Naval Yard. He specialized in civil and structural engineering, including port construction, deep water berths; drydocks, explosive handling wharves; dredging, rail, container crane interface, warehouses, highways, bridges, water supply and sewerage; land development and engineering & construction operations, and acquisition and management. One particularly fun assignment of his was working on the design and construction of new hangar doors for Marine One.
In some ways, his military experience began while growing up as an “army brat,” with tours in Europe, Asia and Africa, and continued throughout his life. Whether he was a reservist, or on active duty, or a veteran, he utilized his professional skills and military leadership training to uphold his duty and to advocate for his brothers in the Army Reserves, especially the 319th Army Transportation Corps out of Augusta, GA. During the mid ‘80’s to early ‘90’s he was the USAR AD US Army Port Construction in Somalia and Korea. From 1968-69 he was the USAR Vietnam Trucking Company Commander–Line Haul Combat Operations.
Drew is best known as the commander of the 319th Transportation Co., who call themselves “Troxler’s Truckers.” In 1968 The 319th Army Reserve unit was called to active duty in Vietnam and henceforth these men became his brothers and sons. They were ambushed seven times while hauling 92,375 S./Tons of supplies more than 1.1 million miles. They received multiple Campaign Credits and a Meritorious Unit Commendation (Army). Individual members of “Troxler’s Truckers” earned three Purple Hearts and16 Bronze Stars, including three with V for valor. The 319th was selected to represent the U.S. Army Reserves in a lithograph of the Vietnam era for its service. Two photographs of the 319th, including one of Drew on convoy, grace the walls of the Pentagon. In 2018, the 319th was awarded US Army Transportation Corps Hall of Fame status. Drew received the award on behalf of all generations of the unit. He and his men were responsible for five of the thirteen streamers attached to the 319th Transportation Company Guidon.
“Drew-Daddy” was a devoted husband to JoAnn, his late wife of 60 years, and was still mourning her death from January of this year. He was also a devoted friend, brother, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. In addition to his wife, Drew was predeceased also by his parents. He is survived by his brother Robert C. Troxler of NYC; sister Anne T. Hoover of Alexandria, VA; two daughters: Chambliss T. Stevens (Mark) of Savannah, and Mallory T. Lehn (Jesse) of Louisville, TN; two granddaughters: Meredith S. Hester (Jonathan) and Mary Lehn; two grandsons: Turner Stevens and John Drewry Lehn; and one great-grandson, Greyson C. Hester who always gleaned the biggest smiles, as well as three nephews, a niece, and many treasured cousins and dear friends.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to St. John’s Church Savannah, One West Macon Street, Savannah, GA, 31401, or to Virginia Military Institute, P.O Box 932, Lexington, VA 24450.
The family is especially grateful for the wonderful care given by Nicole Spencer and Tamika Fleming, as well as the expert care of the nurses, CNAs and all the staff of Azalealand.