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Ben Jay Drymon

September 28, 1927 ~ July 31, 2023 (age 95) 95 Years Old


Dr. Ben Jay Drymon passed away on July 31st, 2023, at the age of 95, surrounded by the love of his wife, Ruth; along with the aids and nurses who have cared for him at Scotia Village in Laurinburg, North Carolina.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, August 19, 2023 at Scotia Village.

He was a man of many names. Ben Jay, Dr. D, dad, grandpa, FarFar, great-grandpa, and more notably nicknamed, King Fish. In addition, he was a man of many roles: son, husband, veteran, teacher, principal, professor, Master Gardener, sommelier, world traveler, and to many, a friend.

Born September 28, 1927 in Willow Springs, Missouri, where he spent some of his childhood until his family moved to Sarasota, Florida. Ben served in the 425th Army Band in WWII as a saxophone player, where he toured throughout Germany under the Marshall Plan. While stationed there, he developed a love for the language, culture, and cuisine. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree from Davidson College and began his teaching career at Moore Elementary in Winston-Salem. There he met his wife, Ruth Martin, and the two wed in June 1956. He completed his master’s degree from UNC while in Chattanooga, TN, teaching at McCallie Boys Prep School. His first son, John Neely, was born there. The family moved back to Winston-Salem in 1960 where he was Assistant Principal of Dalton Junior High School, and eventually appointed Principal. His second son, David Edwards, was born in 1961. He left Dalton in 1970 to pursue his PhD from UNC-Chapel Hill and in 1972 the family moved to Lexington Park, Maryland where he became the Director of Teacher Education at St. Mary’s College until 1977. He returned to North Carolina to finish out his career as a Professor at UNC Pembroke until his retirement in 1993.

After his retirement he had multiple hobbies. Ben Jay found joy in being a grandfather to three grandchildren. He and Ruth were world travelers. Ben found a love in the kitchen, both baking and cooking; and was a faithful member of the Episcopal Church.  As a certified Master Gardener, Ben took pride in the grounds of his home on Barker Ten-Mile Road, especially his garden of over 65 rose bushes. He also was fascinated by wines and grew a wide collection. He spent numerous hours volunteering with a local hospice program.

Ben and Ruth moved to Scotia Village in Laurinburg, North Carolina in 2012. There he was an active resident in their presentations, lectures and activities. He looked forward to weekly bridge games, and found family in the residents, nurses and aids with whom he lived.

Ben is survived by his wife, Ruth Martin Drymon; brother-in-law John Martin, and sister-in-law Jackie Martin; his two sons, John Neely and David Edwards; his grandchildren, Ben Wheless, Jessica Martin, & Ella Louise; and his great-granddaughter Annabeth Jo.

He had a sufficiency of life. Zoomba!

Bumgarner Family Funeral Service is assisting the family.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ben Jay Drymon, please visit our floral store.

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Memorial Service
August 19, 2023

2:00 PM
Scotia Village
2200 Elm Ave.
Laurinburg, NC 28352


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