Elizabeth Janice McLean Drenkhahn, 86, of Fayetteville, NC, died peacefully Thursday, February 28, 2019, at the home of her daughter in Ludlow, KY, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Born August 1, 1932, in Alfordsville, NC, to the late William Vance McLean and Betsy Jane Baker McLean, Elizabeth was known most of her life as Janice. Following graduation in 1950 from Rowland High School and through a work/study scholarship at Lee’s McRae College, she became a medical technologist in 1952. While working as a medical technologist, she earned a BS in Chemistry from the University of Georgia. Janice worked in several hospital labs across North Carolina prior to accepting a research position in the genetics laboratory of Dr. Edward Glassman at the UNC School of Medicine from 1960 to 1963 – a position where she would be named as a contributor on several papers published by the lab. In 1963, she met and married Andrew Drenkhahn, a US Army Finance Officer. They went on to live in Bangkok, Thailand, and Fort Rucker, AL, before settling in Fayetteville, NC. After having 2 children and following Andrew’s retirement from the Army, they became real estate brokers and established College Realty, Inc., which thrived for more than 20 years. Returning to her science background, at age 50 she obtained her teacher’s certificate from Methodist College and went on to teach 9th grade physical science at Pine Forest Junior High School for over 10 years. In her retirement, she enjoyed gardening, travel, service oriented work with various philanthropic and Masonic organizations, most notably, the National Sojourners, for which she and Andy spent many years supporting the Freedoms Foundation patriotic program for youth. She was a member of Peace Presbyterian Church for over 45 years, where she enjoyed playing in the handbell choir. The heart of her family, Janice was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother, with a gentle, supportive, and often humorous manner. Including her parents, Janice was preceded in death by her husband of 52 years, Andrew; and two brothers, Robert and Charles. Janice will be dearly missed by her two children, Dr. Jane Drenkhahn (of Ludlow, KY) and Vance (and Kelly) Drenkhahn (of Tucson, AZ), and her three grandchildren, Charlotte, Connor, and Cullen Drenkhahn. A Memorial Service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 30, at Peace Presbyterian Church, 3203 Ramsey Street, Fayetteville, NC. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Spirit of America Educational Foundation, c/o National Sojourners Inc., 7942-R Cluny Court, Springfield, VA 22153.
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