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Dr. Duane A. Dreyer

May 10, 1942 ~ April 22, 2021 (age 78)


After giving it all he had for four years, Dr. Duane A. Dreyer, 78, was finally able to round his challenging third base and slide into home plate on Thursday, April 22, 2021. His wife, Marti, was by his side at home when he passed. The family is so grateful for the excellent care given by Duke Home Care & Hospice, and for Dr. Harry Erba, Duke University Division of Hematologic Malignancies and Cellular Therapy, and his team’s unfailing support during Duane’s four-year ordeal.

Dr. Dreyer was born in Ypsilanti, MI on May 10, 1942 the son of V. Dean and Virginia Jones Dreyer. Educated in the public schools in Ann Arbor, Minneapolis, and Findlay, OH, he graduated from Findlay Senior High School in 1960. He attended Ohio Northern University, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1965 with a B.S. in Pharmacy. After serving 1967 – 1969 as Senior Assistant Pharmacist in the United States Public Health Service, Division of Indian Health in Lame Deer, MT, he was awarded his Ph.D degree in Pharmacology in 1971 from the University of Pittsburgh. Duane’s academic appointments included Research Associate positions in the Dept. of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh; in the Dental Research Center, UNC Chapel Hill; and in the Divisions of Neurosurgery and, Dept of Physiology, Duke University Medical Center. He was Assistant Professor then Associate Professor in the Dept of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, School of Dentistry, and Dept. of Physiology, School of Medicine UNC Chapel Hill. While at UNC, he received a five-year Research Career Program Development Award from the National Institute of Dental Research; the Richard F. Hunt Award for Excellence in Teaching Award from the School of Dentistry; Outstanding Faculty Award, Medical Education Development Program; and yearly Certificates of Appreciation from the classes of UNC School of Dentistry and of UNC Dental Hygiene. While teaching at Durham Tech, he was awarded the Excellence in Education Award from the Gamma Phi Beta Honor Society. Teaching was truly Duane’s passion, so he postponed retirement until 2017, and continued teaching at Durham Technical Community College where he was an instructor and Chair of Science for many years.  Up to retirement, he was an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Meredith College, as well as an instructor at Miller–Motte College. Upon retirement in 2017, Miller-Motte awarded him their first emeritus status.

Duane was an ardent Detroit Tiger’s fan from an early age, and he and his son Scott enjoyed attending Spring Training and some of their games as well as sharing a love of the game and a passion for collecting baseball cards. Grandson Russ is following in their footsteps. Duane coached in the Little, Pony, and Colt Leagues in Chatham County. His other volunteer activities included being a scoutmaster on the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation in Lame Deer, MT where he drew on his own Eagle Scout experiences; a classroom volunteer and co-PTA President at Frank Porter Graham Elementary School; and the Thursday-morning, scrambled-egg volunteer at Urban Ministries of Durham’s Community Kitchen. His love of all animals was boundless, and his own fur babies received unlimited love. He often stopped to rescue and relocate turtles in danger trying to cross a road. Children in the Heritage Hills neighborhood of Chapel Hill knew him as Santa during many yearly Christmas parties.

Duane married his high school sweetheart, Martha (Marti) Miller Dreyer in July 1965 at the Martha-Mary Chapel in Greenfield Village, Dearborn, MI and she survives. He is also survived by son and daughter-in-law Scott and Jennifer Russ Dreyer and their son, Russ. Our doxie Gabby is heartbroken and confused. A daughter and her son are estranged. Duane’s sisters Joyce Baughman, Carol Kendall, and Deborah Hinton survive as well as his brothers-in-law Ralph Kendall, Pete Hinton, and Thomas Miller. There are three nephews, one niece, and their children. Duane was preceded in death by his parents, his grandparents Bill and Viola Passow Jones Wilson, and by his parents-in-law, Robert and Ruth Prokupek Miller.

The family will receive friends and family at Donaldson Funeral Home, 396 West St., Pittsboro, NC on Sunday, May 2 from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm. A celebration of Duane’s life will be held at a later date when the Covid-19 crisis abates. If you would like to toast Duane and share stories, please message in order for us to let you know future details. Expressions of sympathy may take the form of contributions to Duke Home Care & Hospice; Chatham Animal Rescue & Education, Inc. (CARE); or East Chatham Little League (PO Box 1504 Pittsboro 27312, or PayPal using Volunteering at an animal rescue facility would warm his heart. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. Duane A. Dreyer, please visit our floral store.


May 2, 2021

3:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Donaldson Funeral Home & Crematory Griffin Chapel
396 West St.
Pittsboro, NC 27312


Duke Home Care & Hospice
4321 Medical Park Drive, Suite 101, Durham NC 27704

CARE - Chatham Animal Rescue & Education
Post Office Box 610, Pittsboro NC 27312
Tel: 1-919-542-5757

East Chatham Little League
PO Box 1504, Pittsboro NC 27312

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