Obituaries » John Dreger

John Dreger

August 14, 1939 - August 17, 2020

U.S. Veteran

Burial Date August 24, 2020

Obituary Viewed 422 times

John Rae Dreger, Sr., 80, entered peacefully into Eternal Life, on August 17, 2020. Originally from Detroit, MI, where he met and married the love of his life, Joan (Kowalczyk), John and his family moved many times from coast to coast in the United States, as well as three years in the Philippines, throughout his 33 years in the United States Coast Guard. During his long career in the USCG, John had many different duties as an extremely valued member of the Armed Services. He was a storekeeper, special agent, pay officer and finance officer. He was a DJ with the handle of “Johnny D” for Armed Forces radio and was a square dance caller. He also held a second job as a bartender and eventually a bar manager. He ended his career as a Chief Warrant Officer 4 and was well respected by his colleagues, as well as anyone who knew him.


After retiring from the Coast Guard, John started a new career in hotel and restaurant management, having received a degree from Johnson and Wales University taking advantage of the GI Bill. He used his knowledge and previously learned skills to be a pub manager and a bar manager.


Anyone who knew John, knew that he was an avid ice hockey fan. His long standing following of the Detroit Red Wings was unprecedented. Ice hockey was always a part of the Dreger household. He was either taking his sons to practice at 4 a.m., going to one of their games, watching it on TV, or playing it himself. When John was stationed at the Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT, he established and coached the Coast Guard Cadet ice hockey club, which is still in existence today.


John is survived by his wife of almost 62 years, Joan A. Dreger and his six children: John R. Dreger, Jr and Ann of Brooklyn, CT; Laura Grose and Greg of Stafford, VA; Christy Brown and Dennis of Fort Mill, SC; Steven Dreger and Karen of Sandy Hook, CT; Michael Dreger and Holly of Gulfport, MS; and Sister Paul Mary Dreger, FSE of Burlington, VT. He was an awesome Papa to 14 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren, as well as a loving uncle (UJ) to many nieces and nephews. His quiet, strong presence will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. Calling hours will be held on Sunday, August 23, from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Impellitteri-Malia Funeral Home, 84 Montauk Ave., New London. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, August 24, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Paul Church, 170 Rope Ferry Rd, Waterford. He will be buried at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Middletown, CT on Wednesday, August 26 at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, 405 Allen Avenue, Meriden, CT 06451.


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