Thursday, February 18, 2016
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Food and drinks will be served.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
All who knew Louis Dreon would agree that he was an extraordinary man to know and love. He was goodnatured and kindhearted with an easy going demeanor that drew others near with ease. Louis was known for his strong work ethic, but even more than that was his honor, integrity, and character that accompanied everything he did. He was a devoted family man who treasured his wife, children, and grandchildren, savoring every moment they had together. A longtime resident of the community he loved, there was no one who met Louis and left unchanged. He will be forever remembered.
The 1930s were very much defined by the hardship of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce, the unemployment rate soared, and cities, communities, and families were left doing whatever they could to weather the storm. For some, this meant moving where work could be found while others lived in their cars or even in shanty towns called Hoovervilles. Despite the challenges around them, Alberto and Maria (Vallar) Dreon were filled with great joy as they announced the birth of the baby boy they named Louis on June 6, 1932, in Negaunee, Michigan. With parents who had immigrated to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan from Frisanco, Italy, Louis was 100 percent Italian. His father found work in the iron ore mines while his mother was a homemaker. As a student, Lou attended St. Paul Grade School and went on to St. Paul High School. There, he enjoyed playing basketball and football, and he was an all-star basketball player. While in high school he also spent some time boxing and was a Golden Glove featherweight boxer.
After graduating from high school in 1950, Louis enlisted in the Navy in 1952. He worked as a radar operator on the destroyer, the USS Henley, in the Pacific Ocean during the Korean Conflict. After serving in the military for four years, Lou moved to Plainwell, Michgian, where he attended Pine Lake Trade School. There, he learned how to operate and repair typewriters, adding machines, and other office equipment.
New and exciting changes were in store for Lou when he met the young woman of his dreams. Her name was Sally, and they met while dancing the night away at the Prairie Schooner. They began dating, and it wasn’t long before the couple had fallen deeply in love. With a desire to establish a life together, Lou and Sally were married in 1958 at St. Monica Church. The newlyweds initially settled in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, for a year, and it was there that they welcomed their first child, Maria, into their hearts and home. After some time they decided to move back to the area to be closer to family. They added two more children to the family, Julia and Louis, Jr.
In everything he did, Louis was one to work hard. He started off working part-time as a packer at the Eckrich Company in Kalamazoo. Eager to put his specialized skills to good work, Louis answered an ad in the newspaper that offered additional work repairing typewriters and other office equipment at Rayle Business Equipment. Lou loved this job as well as his boss, Bill Rayle. He was very loyal to Bill and wanting to service his servicing clients to the best of his ability. Lou’s loyalty was greatly illustrated when the business fell on hard times, and he could no longer be paid. He offered to keep working without pay and did just that. When the business eventually came back, Bill gave Lou 50 percent of the business, which made him co-owner for more than 30 years until he retired.
A man of many interests, Louie was always doing something. He lived an active life, too, as he enjoyed fishing on small area lakes, golfing, dancing, and working on cars. Lou remained fit by lifting weights, and as an avid sports fan he was often watching sports on television whether the Detroit Tigers or Michigan State Football. He loved gambling, usually playing slots and craps both locally and on trips to Las Vegas. As someone who liked to cook, Louis also enjoyed working in his garden, he cooked truly authentic foods including his famous chicken cacciatore with polenta. He liked classic music including Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Dolly Parton. For several years, Lou treasured the companionship of his Jack Russell terrier, Josie.
Easy going, mild mannered, and eager to please, Louis Dreon was content in whatever life brought. He was a no frills sort of guy who liked things simple and lived to love and serve those around him. Life will never be the same without Lou here, but he leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that his loved ones will hold forever near and dear to their hearts.
Louis Dreon died on February 15, 2016, at Upjohn Care and Rehab Center in Kalamazoo. Lou’s family includes his wife, Sally Dreon; 3 children: Maria Dreon (Darrell Pennington), Julie (Ronnie) Ryan and Louis J. Dreon, II; 6 grandchildren: Shane, Alexia, Celisse, Maxwell, Olivia and Elliott; brother, Sergio (Barb) Dreon; niece, Shelia; and best friends: Paul Nezamis and Joseph Byrne. Visit with family and friends while sharing food and drinks on Thursday from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler-Kalamazoo, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo 375-2900. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday 10:30 a.m. at St. Monica Catholic Church. Burial will take place at Genesee Prairie Cemetery followed by a luncheon in the Life Story Center. Please visit Lou’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Kalamazoo Animal Rescue.