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Obituaries

LTC PAUL DREWRY TROXLER, UNITED STATES ARMY (Ret.)

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.

Online Condolences

  1. Robert Vinyard says:

    A true Christian officer and gentleman I had so many wonderful moments with Drew. May his soul Rest In Peace and gods perpetual light shine upon him.

  2. A. Jack Fishman says:

    I served under him with the 319th Transportation Co, RVN, 1968-1969. He took 130 of us to Viet Nam as boys and brought back responsible men. A true leader. RIP Captain Troxler!

  3. Butch and Mary Gay says:

    I served with Capt. Troxler as a member of the 319th Transportation Company during Vietnam. He protected our unit , supplied us with great leadership and knowledge. Even after Vietnam he was there for us in every way possible. A true hero ;he will be greatly missed.
    His family are in our prayers and thoughts.

  4. tommy (E T ) and Betty Wiliams says:

    Capt Troxler was more than our C O. He was also our friend. He was always there for us. We were his boys. Rest in peace good friend. Our prayers are with his family.

  5. Tommy (ET)and Betty Williams says:

    Capt Troxler wasmore than our C O He was also our friend.was always there for us.we were his boys. Rest in peace good friend. Our prayers are with his family.

  6. R Klee Wilson says:

    I too served with Captain Troxler in the 319th in Vietnam. He could serve as an example to all Army commanders. He looked after his Men and was loyal to his mission . A fine human being. Prayers for his family.

  7. Richard Robertson says:

    Drew and I both sought the Civil Engineering Degree at VMI., but for many reasons it was harder for him than any of us. No person worked harder. longer and with more determination than Drew and none of us deserved it more. I believe that our fathers were Brother Rats in the VMI Class of 1922. I had great respect and love for Drew and will miss him greatly. I hope to see him again one day if the Lord allows. God bless him and all his family.

  8. Gene & Barbara Frazier says:

    Capt. Troxler was a great leader and took care of all of of his men as if we were his own. You couldn’t ask for a better man. We were fortunate to have been in the 319th under his command. Our prayers go out to his family, we know he will be terribly missed.

  9. William Bradley says:

    Sending prayers to all the Family He was a great man.I am glad to have known him.
    William Bradley

  10. Henry J Foresman Jr says:

    I got to know Drew when I was stationed at Fort Stewart. Drew was one of the first fellow Alumnus of VMI I met in 1979 when I was stationed at Fort Stewart. We have stayed in touch off and on for these many years. I will miss him as he was a good soldier, husband, father, and most of a good man.

  11. Frank Neal says:

    LTC Troxler was a Officer and Gentleman!
    He will forever be remembered as our “CAPTAIN TROXLER” of the 319th Transportation Company.
    May he Rest In Peace.

  12. Wallace Zealy says:

    Our Captain was so profoundly influential in the direction of all of our lives, not only that time from May of 1968 through August of 1969, but from that time forward. I , as well as all of you, do reflect on the years since Vietnam. Captain Troxler performed his duties as a leader, as a friend, and as a father ,to all in our unit during our time under his command—A responsibility he accepted, and in my opinion, excelled . After this part of our lives, what we did with our memories, our ambitions, our friendships, and our very lives is the responsibility of each of us…

  13. Mary Alice Garvin says:

    Mr. Troxler was a very special friend. He loved his family very much and brought his grandson to my home for piano lessons until Turner was old enough to drive himself. He and his precious wife, JoAnne were great supporters of their grandchildren’s activites- both in their school and church. MMAY GOD welcome into his eternal home and say to him ‘WELL DONE THY GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT.

  14. Freddie Norris says:

    I served with Captain Troxler in the 319th in Vietnam. He was always there for his men and a true friend to have.
    May you rest in peace and our prayers are with his family.

  15. Scott A Eisenhart says:

    Drew Troxler was a very special man indeed! Not only was he dedicated to his boys in Vietnam, he was also dedicated to his boys at Solomon’s Lodge. He served his lodge with distinction not only as the Treasurer but also as Chairman of the Scholarship Committee ensuring that students deserving, got a financial boost with their studies! Rest in Peace Brother! Well done thy good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joys of thy Lord! Prayers for God’s comfort in this time of mourning!

  16. George Fuller says:

    We are deeply sorry for your loss. Captain Troxler was a great mentor to all of us who served under his command in the 319th. We learned many lessons from him and his death will never take away the legacy and memories he left with us. May his soul Rest In Peace.

  17. Tracy Chance says:

    Condolences he is with his wife again! Prayers for strength and hopes that good memories get the family through this time!

  18. Paula Walker says:

    What a gentleman and a patriot! Sincere condolences to you and your family, Chambliss.

  19. Louise Mulherin says:

    Mallory and Chambliss – I’m so sorry for the loss of your Father, sending you and all of his loved ones prayers for comfort.

  20. Bert lavender says:

    Hi. My heart and prayers go out to you and all of yall of your family miss you. Love bert

  21. William E. (Bill) Patterson, formerly Specialist 5, Army Reservist from Augusta GA. says:

    A great man has passed. Those of us who served with him in the Vietnam War will never forget his leadership and care he showed for us. Peace Be With You.
    Bill Patterson
    author “Vietnam Convoy Trucker”

  22. M Booker for Frank Norvell says:

    I am heartsick over learning that Drew has passed away. My sweet Frank died 2 years ago. We always talked about how much we enjoyed their company at the reunions. Now he will join many brother rats for many more reunions,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you
    Martha Booker

  23. Mike Dickerson says:

    I served under Drew Troxler in Vietnam or should i say served with him. He was always able to help and get along with the men, able to laugh at some of the situation with the men while maintaining discipline and respect of the men.
    I got to know him better after we returned home. The 319th always had annual reunions and Christmas dinners, you could always expect Drew to come to Augusta for these events. We have lost a good man and friend. I enjoyed talking with him in person and over the phone. He always wanted to know how his men were and could he do anything to help the reunion committee. To help you understand how the men felt about him a few years ago about 40 of the men went to Savannah and pulled off a surprise birthday dinner for him. Not many Military Units would do this for their Company Commanders

    Mike Dickenson

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