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Frau D Gone Home

February 25, 2011 — 2 Comments

The Summer of 2002 I went to Heidelberg, Germany for a semester abroad. It was an incredible experience. I discovered a lot about myself, lens through which I view the world and developed some great friendships. One person that was a big impact during those few months was Frau (Mary) Drehsel. I just found out that she passed away and I wanted to share the article from IP office at Pepperdine.

*the following information and picture was taken from the Pepperdine University International Programs Website*

It is with great sadness that we announce that Mary Drehsel passed away around midnight (February 21, 2011). Mary was Professor of German and Academic Coordinator of Pepperdine University’s Heidelberg International Program. She touched the hearts of all the students and colleagues who knew her and loved her. She leaves behind her husband Karl Drehsel and four children, Susanna, Miriam, Karli and Markus. We grieve with them and encourage everyone to keep them in your prayers in the days and weeks to come.

In the 1970s, Mary came to Germany as a missionary and especially worked with children at the Gemeinde Christi in Heidelberg. She became a teacher of German at Pepperdine University in 1981 and later Academic Coordinator of the Heidelberg International Program in the 1990s. Mary was a courageous woman who bravely fought cancer for more than 18 years, she was a Christian role model to us all, a loving mother to her children and an inspiring teacher. Throughout the years, Mary touched and inspired students who came to study in Heidelberg. The outpouring of messages – in the hundreds – that have reached us all in the past hours is a testimony to the Christian life she led.

The Heidelberg International Program was graced with Mary Drehsel’s presence for almost 30 years and will never be the same without her. A memorial service will be held in Elkins on March 11, 2011 at 3pm.

The Drehsel family has many financial needs during this time. If you would like to contribute to the Drehsel Family Assistance Fund, we will make sure that all proceeds go directly to assist their needs. Please make checks to Pepperdine University; specify that the funds go to the Drehsel Family Assistance Fund and send to:

Pepperdine University

C/o Advancement and Gift Records
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263

You may also give to this fund online by going to:

Designate Seaver College; in memory of Mary Drehsel and specify that the gift is for The Drehsel Family Assistance Fund.


A few weeks ago I had the honor of being John’s best man. I MC’d the reception and gave The Speech. But I didn’t get to say everything I wanted to say. So here are some things I may or may not have said in my speech:

  • I’ve known John Grogg since my sophomore year of high school…which makes over a decade
  • John has been my most loyal friend. When I’ve been rude, mean or distant…John didn’t care, he forgave and he moved on
  • We’ve had more spiritual conversations than I can count
  • We have hung out together in High School, Yosemite, Malibu (socal in general), New York, Florida, Germany and France
  • We’ve prayed together
  • We’ve been roommates
  • We’ve disagreed
  • We’ve both been involved in these groups: Gamma Gkkkkkt, ASP, and The Difference
  • We’ve played countless hours of Counter-Strike together…ah, college life
  • We’ve praised God together
  • We’ve shared scripture with one another
  • We’ve shot at each other
  • We’ve even cried

The point is, we’ve shared a lot of life and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for John. You are a true friend. As Sean Connery says in the movie First Knight, “Brother to Brother, Yours in LIfe and Death.”