John E. Drewlow

1943 - 2021


John Ernest Drewlow, 77, of Lisbon, North Dakota met his Savior face-to-face on Friday, April 9, 2021 while at Essentia Health Hospital in Fargo, North Dakota.

John was born May 16, 1943, in Breckenridge, MN, the son of George and Luella (Arntson) Drewlow.  John was raised on the family farm in Kent, MN. He graduated from Breckenridge High School in 1961.  After graduation John held a variety of jobs, working at the Minot Missile Base, as a farm hand, at the Breckenridge John Deere, and the Breckenridge Holiday gas station.

On August 28, 1965, he married his childhood friend and sweetheart, Marilyn Seifert, at Scambler Union Church in Pelican Rapids, MN, and was drafted into the US ARMY shortly thereafter. They lived for several months in Breckenridge, after his honorable discharge, then moved to Lisbon, ND in August 1966. He worked for Gordon Everson picking up and delivering cream to the Lisbon Creamery.  Later he drove semi-truck for Fairmont Foods. John then worked several years as a Deputy for the Ransom County Sheriff’s Department and later joined the Lisbon Police Force. After his time on the Police Force, he joined the crew at Lisbon Lumber.  In his spare time, he helped friends with miscellaneous construction jobs.  In 1983, he started Drewlow Construction & Specialties.  Many people came to know him as the “Garage Door Man”.  In the early 90’s, he added Valley Lock and Key to his business.  He ran both businesses until 2015 when he retired from construction but continued Valley Lock and Key until 2019.

John was an active member of First Baptist Church of Lisbon, since 1974, where he served many positions.  John drove school bus for the Lisbon School District for many years, he especially enjoyed driving students to all types of school events.  John also serviced the community for 42 years as a volunteer for the Lisbon Fire Department, fighting fires, training firemen and helping to build the Fire Department into a unit that he was very proud of.  To many in the community he was “Big John”, especially to all the children who attended Marilyn’s Childcare over the years.

John loved God and his family.  He enjoyed fishing, camping, square dancing, bowling, and especially woodworking. He created many treasures for his grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.  

John is survived by his loving wife, Marilyn Drewlow of Lisbon, ND; children, Dawn (Scott) Walden of Argusville, ND, Richard (Rebecca) Drewlow of Delano, MN, and Michelle Drewlow of Cuper, Scotland, four grandchildren; Katie, Nathaniel, Cyrus and Jacob, siblings: Annetta Martin of Doran, MN; Dennis (Vickie) Drewlow of Great Bend, ND; Meryl (John) Ostendorf of Big Fork, MN; Grace Giombetti of Hibbing, MN; Donna (Douglas) Johnson of Racine, WI; Loretta Drewlow of Fargo, ND; Lavern (Greta) Drewlow of Effie, MN; James (Sandy) Drewlow of Effie, MN; Janice (Gary) Smith of Wahpeton, ND; Kenneth (Roxsy) Drewlow of Fargo, ND; and Marlin (Brenda) Drewlow of Dilworth, MN: brother-in-law Duane (Barbara) Seifert of Pelican Rapids, MN: sister-in-law Linda (Eugene) Beckman of Chishom, MN and numerous nieces and nephews.

John was preceded in death by his parents, sisters: Patricia Drewlow, Kayleen Whaley; brother-in-laws: George Martin, Ike Bader, James Whaley.  John was followed in death, on the same day, by brother-in-law Michael Giombetti.

A memorial service will be held later this summer at First Baptist Church, Lisbon, North Dakota.

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11 Main St., Lisbon, ND

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3 trees planted in memory of John


Mike & Ann Knudson, Bismarck

April 28, 2021 8:17 PM
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A Memorial Tree was ordered in memory of John E. Drewlow by Mike & Ann Knudson, Bismarck.  Plant a Tree

Mike & Ann Knudson

April 28, 2021 8:11 PM

Our deepest condolences to Marilyn and the family. He was a good person to have around. When there was a fire, John always knew what to do.

Bruce Dougherty

April 21, 2021 1:00 PM

I knew John throughout our years in Lisbon. John helped our son Patrick out on New Year's morning when he was delivering The Forum and accidentally locked his keys in the car. I told him to call John. Well John came over and got the car open. Patrick offered to pay John but he refused. He smiled and wished Patrick a Happy New Year! That was John. Vicki and I send our thoughts and prayers to you Marilyn and your family.

Lisa Anderson

April 14, 2021 6:47 AM

Sending my deepest condolences to Marilyn and the family. John was my bus driver and I always appreciated his strong but gentle nature. And then Marilyn took care of my kids for many years so my kids have wonderful memories of John as well. Rest in peace, and prayers to all who loved him. 

Shelly Juhnke Schlagel

April 13, 2021 7:46 PM

Hugs and condolences to Michelle and family. Scott and I are thinking of during this difficult time.

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