Dr. Robert Dreher, obituary

Mon, 04/17/2023 - 4:15pm

WARREN — Dr. Robert Dreher passed away on March 16, 2023 in Rockport, Maine. Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania on May 2, 1939, he was the son of Dr. Robert H. and Elizabeth Dreher. He married Ruth Lilly, his high school sweetheart, and they had three sons, R. Craig, Russell, and Christopher.

Bob grew up in Wind Gap, Pennsylvania and was a graduate of Pen Argyl High School in 1957. As a teen, he earned his Eagle Scout and spent his summers as a camp counselor; he became waterfront director at BSA Camp Weygadt while he was in college. In 1961 he graduated from Muhlenberg College where he studied pre med as well as ornithology and German. After college, he studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. During his years in college and medical school, he pursued his interest in history by participating in many reenactments of Civil War battles.

Following graduation from medical school in 1965, he joined the United States Public Health Service for his internship at the hospital in Baltimore. He spent the next year at the US Public Health Service Hospital in Portland, Maine. During that year he served for several weeks on the USS Bibb in the North Atlantic.

The first year of his ophthalmology residency was at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri followed by two years at the USPHS Hospital in San Francisco. In 1971, Bob opened his ophthalmology practice in Rockland. In 1975 he moved his practice to Rockport where he cared for his much loved patients until he retired in 2018.

He joined the Army Reserve in the eighties and retired as a colonel in 1999. During that time, he served stateside during Desert Storm and was later commanding officer of the 1125th US Army Hospital for two years. Highlights of his service included being deployed to Germany five times to serve two or three weeks at bases in Nuremberg, Frankfurt, and Heidelberg as well as being deployed to Guatemala with his unit.

Bob’s outdoor interests included hunting, fishing, hiking, boating, and photographing moose and birds. At home, he rode around his trails with his dogs to check his cameras for wildlife pictures which he posted on the internet and in his office. He took many outstanding pictures of the birds that came to the feeders near the house. His military deployment to Guatemala led to a vacation in Costa Rica to see and photograph a resplendent quetzal.

Bob always wanted to include his sons in his many activities. When the boys were little, he built them wooden and metal toys including a barn, various automobiles, a wooden train, and a nutcracker made from a shock absorber. His grandchildren are still enjoying these toys today. With his sons’ help, he built a tree house in the back yard that was enjoyed for years. As they grew older, Bob took his sons hunting, camping, and even into the wilderness to look for moose.

Bob’s love of motor vehicles began at an early age. At one point, he convinced his sister to hold the starter button down so he could drive the family car until the battery went dead. He went on to get a motorcycle and a pilot’s license, but he most enjoyed taking his Jeeps and Broncos to places others avoided, and often he would get stuck. When he moved to Warren, he managed to get tractors, bulldozers, and his PUG stuck on numerous occasions. He was always ready to get out his bulldozer to help his son move snow when it was too deep for the plow truck.

Bob was predeceased by his parents, his granddaughter Michelle Dreher, his daughter-in-law Pamela Mason, and his brother-in-law Dwayne Honey.

He is survived by his wife, Ruth; sons R. Craig Dreher of Warren, Russell J. Dreher of Astoria, New York, and Christopher M. Dreher and his wife Jennifer of Warren; granddaughters Lilly Dreher and Sophia Dreher of Warren; his sister Elizabeth Honey of Nazareth, Pennsylvania; brothers-in-law Donald Lilly and his wife Judy of Ashland, Kentucky, Douglas Lilly and his wife Deborah of Lancaster, Pennsylvania; sisters-in-law Margaret Padgett and her husband Harold of Alexandria, Virginia, and Linda Iaccio and her husband Joseph of Bangor, Pennsylvania; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

A private family burial will take place in the spring.

A Celebration of Life will be held May 27, at 1 p.m., at the Rockland Elks Club, 210 Rankin Street, Rockland, ME. All are welcome.

The family is requesting donations in Bob’s memory be made to the Ronald McDonald House, 250 Brackett Street, Portland, Maine 04102 or to the organization of your choice.

Hall Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 78 Main Street, Thomaston, ME, as care of the arrangements.

To extend online condolences visit Bob’s Book of Memories at hallfuneralhomes.com