In Memory of





Obituary for James E. Drury Jr.

Pawcatuck - James E. Drury, Jr., “Jim”, aged 83, died Wednesday, June 28, 2023 surrounded by his loving family.

Jim was born in Newport, RI to the late Louise (Murphy) and the late James E. Drury, Sr. He started his life in Jamestown, RI and when he was six years old, his family moved to Pawcatuck where he would live most of his life.

Jim is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Celena (McMahon); his three daughters: Debbie Cornelius and husband, Frank of Bradford, RI, Theresa Gaunt and husband, Dave of Hillsboro, OR and Susan Jones and husband, Griff of Pawcatuck, CT; grandchildren: Zack Sanchez and wife, Katie of Ledyard, CT, Christian (CJ) Sanchez and boyfriend, Anthony Cheng of Seattle, WA, Cameron Cornelius of Bradford, RI, Devin Honer and wife, Mary of Pendleton, OR, Haylee Gaunt and boyfriend, Steven Ramirez of Hillsboro, OR, Tonya Nelson and husband, Mike of Columbia City, OR, Breanna Jones of New Brunswick, NJ, Avalon Jones and boyfriend, Hunter Bowen of Grant Town, WV; great-grandchildren: Daemon Honer, Rylen, Kylee, Ellie May and Emma Lou Nelson, and 2 great-grandchildren on the way! He is also survived by his brother, Gerald Drury of Ledyard, CT, sister, Suzanne Erskine and husband, Doug of Madison, CT and many beloved nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his best friend since elementary school at St. Michael Parish School in Pawcatuck, The Most Reverend Paul S. Loverde.

Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his sister-in-law, Kathy Drury, loving wife of Gerald Drury. An avid animal lover, Jim, along with Celena, adopted many dogs during his lifetime. He was predeceased by two of his best companions, Mickey and Nikki.

Jim attended St. Michael Parish School and graduated from Stonington High School in 1958. After high school, Jim joined the United States Air Force which he faithfully served in Germany, Bermuda and Mississippi for eight years. Just before entering active duty, Jim met the love of his life, Celena (McMahon). They married on July 4, 1964. After completing his service, Jim earned his BA from the University of Rhode Island and went to work at Pfizer. After 36 years at Pfizer, he retired in 2004 as a Senior Staff Buyer in the Purchasing Department.

Jim was a lifelong member of the Groton Lodge of Elks No. 2163. Jim was a loyal fan of the New York Yankees and New York Giants. He shared his love of sports with his daughters by taking them to Yankee games and many Hartford Whaler games. Jim was an avid fisherman. He shared his love for fishing with his daughters, grandchildren, nephew, Tom and good friend, Perry Sawyer. He also had amazing vegetable gardens through the years. He enjoyed teaching his children and grandchildren how to tend a garden and giving vegetables to family and friends.

Jim will be remembered as a loving, generous man who adored his family and friends.

Visiting hours will be held from 5pm until 7pm on Wednesday, July 5, 2023 at Gaffney-Dolan Funeral Home, 59 Spruce Street, Westerly, RI. Relatives and friends are also invited to attend a Funeral Liturgy to be held at 11am on Thursday, July 6, 2023 at St. Michael Church, 60 Liberty Street, Pawcatuck. There is no procession to church from the funeral home. Burial will follow at St. Michael Cemetery, Pawcatuck. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to: St. Michael Church, Attn: Steeple and Kitchen Fund, 60 Liberty Street, Pawcatuck, CT 06379. For online condolences please visit