Gamble Funeral Service

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Mary Ellen Rosa Drew, 78, of Savannah, Georgia, died Thursday morning, September 1, 2022, at her home.

Born in Rochester, Pennsylvania, she was a daughter of the late Paul Anthony Rosa, Sr. and the late Catherine Gladys Dunn Rosa. Mary was of the Catholic faith. She was a Captain in the United States Army having served in the Nurse Corps. Mary served during the Vietnam War and was stationed at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. She retired after more than 25 years with Coastal Dialysis Center. Mary’s first love was her family, followed closely by her love for her dogs, Lucy Lu, Charlie and Sally, and living a life of service. She also enjoyed reading, gardening, and cooking.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a grandson, Lincoln Arlo Drew, and a brother, Leo “Butch” Rosa.

Survivors include her daughter, Catherine Drew Perez and her husband, Major Lu Perez, United States Air Force; her son, Robert Justin Drew and his wife, Beverly Drew; two grandchildren, Abbi Drew Coplen and her wife, Jessi, and Damian Drew; her sister, Kathryn Rosa Hetzer; her brother, Paul Anthony Rosa, Jr. and his wife, Carol, and nieces and nephews.

A private funeral service, with military honors, will be held by the family. She will be laid to rest in Midville City Cemetery in Midville, Georgia.

Remembrances: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital – 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tennessee 38105-9959.

Online Condolences

  1. Lu says:

    She was a spectacular woman, mother, confidant! I will truly miss her beyond what words can describe. I love you very much Mary Ellen! Rest In Peace.

  2. Leslie says:

    Dearest Cathy and Lu, God bless your broken hearts I hope that the love you all shared helps you heal. You are always in my thoughts and prayers. I love you both. Mom S

  3. Melissa Tungate says:

    She will be missed and remembered well. Truly a great woman mother
    and friend

  4. Kristin says:

    We are so sorry to hear of your loss. From all your stories, your mom sounded like a wonderful woman. Please know we are holding you in our hearts as you navigate this painful time. We love you

  5. Christie Willis says:

    She will be truly missed! She was an amazing mother and friend! RIP mom❤️❤️❤️

  6. Amber Jones Barrier says:

    Mary was one of a kind, that’s for certain. I loved seeing her face every time I came to visit. I was around her so often that I can easily picture her expression to just about any situation- this lady didn’t mess around- and hear her voice so clearly in my head. I was so grateful that she spent time with me and taught me how to cook certain dishes, like Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (which were delicious!) and always made me the yummiest Bloody Mary drinks when I asked her to (and I did… many times). I appreciated how much she loved my kids and how easily they took to her. It’s not ever going to be the same without her, but not for the same reasons as it would be for any regular person; Mary stood out from the norm and therefore it stings just a little bit more to know that she’s no longer here. Thank you, Mary, for being so awesome. I love you.

  7. Kali Lewis says:

    I started working for you and Coastal March 1998. You’ve became one of my mentors. You were there for me when my mother and brother passed. You gave me advice about my professional career and became a mother figure to me. I hate that I didn’t keep in touch more. Thank you for changing my life for the better. You’ll be truly missed.

  8. Billy says:

    Miss Mary
    I truly enjoyed our “porch time”
    and the neighborly conversations we had with
    Lu, Cathie and your grand fur
    babies. You were a lot of fun and always had great things to say with great and great wit. You were a great person and lovely neighbor. . I will miss you Mary. .

  9. Lauren Caylor (Griffis) says:

    Ms. Mary,
    You have known me my whole life it seems. You were definitely my second mama. We had so much fun working together on our nocturnal shift at Coastal. All the talks, all the laughs, all the great food you would make, but mostly all I learned from you through the years. You will always be in my heart and forever missed. Cathy, Justin and family, my thoughts and prayers are with you through this difficult time. She loved you all with every ounce of her being. Abbi and Damian, you were her heart! She was so proud of both of you! Sending prayers.


  10. Dr. Gabrielle Lawrence says:

    Sorry for your loss…. Mary Drew will always
    be remembered for teaching me about dialysis.
    She was a great figurehead who mentored many
    many nurses including myself.
    RIP Mary Drew. You will always have a place in my

  11. Taylor Mongin says:

    Mary Drew was a loving friend and colleague to my mother, Linda Mongin and a wonderful mentor to my brother Brantley. I will miss our times at her house swimming in the pool and picking blueberries. Sending all my love and prayers to her family and friends. Love, Taylor Mongin Molnar

  12. Helen Hartley says:

    I am so sorry to hear of Mary’s passing. I met Mary many years ago at Coastal Dialysis. I was her preceptor when she started in dialysis. She became a great dialysis nurse and leader. We had a great friendship as well. She helped me through personal heartache and entertained me and my children many times at the pool. Justin and Cathy, I am so sorry for your loss.

  13. Lisa McKenzie says:

    I just heard about Mary. She was a great friend to me many many years ago. We had so much fun! We also met at Coastal Dialysis way back when! Very sad. Keeping her beloved family in my prayers.

  14. Bonnie & Mark Lesker says:

    We are so sorry for the loss of your Mother. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. Their memories spring smiles and God’s Grace bring you comfort During this difficult time.

  15. Joe Buttimer says:

    Justin and all of the family,
    Very sorry for your loss. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers…

  16. Earlyn H.Simmons says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with Mary’s family. We met at Coastal Dialysis and worked together and have remained friends for over 40 yrs. Mary was such a wise person and didn’t fear sharing her thoughts and opinions. Kathy, Justin and the other family members will forever hold a special place in my heart .Mary’s life was well lived and she enjoyed every moment . The ones we love remain with us,. May the sweet memories live on in your hearts .

  17. Debora Crosby says:

    Sending my love and condolences to Cathy and Justin. I just heard that your beautiful mother and my dear friend passed away. I’m honestly in shock and upset that I didn’t come and see you guys more often. I think sometimes we take family and friends for granted. Mary and I shared many memories, laughs and tears through the years. I will never forget all she brought to my life. She was a selfless person who was always there when someone was in need. I loved Mary and she will be missed by many! RIP my dear friend! Heartborken

  18. Donna says:

    Cathy and Lu, my heart goes out to you both. Losing a parent is very tough. Ms. Mary was a beautiful soul. I only met her once but she treated me as if she had known me her whole life. I pray for you all.

  19. Becky Keating says:

    I’m so sad to read about Mary’s passing. She was such a good nurse and gave all of herself to her patients. And what a character! You always knew where you stood with Mary. She told it like it was. I always admired that.
    Nurse, mother, patriot! Such a genuine person. Please accept my sincere condolences.

  20. Ryan Greer says:

    Justin and family,
    I am sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  21. Lu says:

    Happy 79th Birthday Mary!!! We love you and miss you so very, very much!!!

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