Glenmore H. Drasher, veteran and musician

August 29, 2008|By Nicole Fuller

Glenmore H. Drasher, an Army veteran and longtime musician who performed with a Harford County band well into his 80s, died Aug. 19 at a Baltimore County nursing home after falling ill from pneumonia. He was 95.

Mr. Drasher was born in Hazleton, Pa. He joined the band at Hazleton High School, where he played the trombone. He was so enthralled with music, his only daughter said, that he did odd jobs as a teenager to pay for lessons to learn other instruments.

After graduating from high school in 1930, he enlisted in the Army and soon began a decades-long career in Army bands.

Six years after enlisting, he left the Army and opened a gas station in Cunningham, Pa., near his hometown. In 1940, he met Matilda Elizabeth Brandau in church. They married two months later and had one daughter, Hannah E. Wheeling of Bel Air.

"She played piano beautifully," Mrs. Wheeling said of her mother, who died in 1992. "He was like, 'Whoa! Somebody can actually accompany me when I play my instruments.' "

After Pearl Harbor, Mr. Drasher sold the gas station and re-enlisted in the Army in 1942. Over the years, the family lived in several states, eventually settling in Harford County.

He remained a member of the Aberdeen Proving Ground Army Band until 1965 but continued playing in a local symphony and an orchestra in Pennsylvania, and was a member of the Bel Air Community Band, until he was 88.

After being diagnosed with cancer in 1996, Mr. Drasher moved to Rock Spring Village, an assisted-living community in Forest Hill. He recently moved to the Overlea Heath and Rehabilitation Center.

Services were held Aug. 22 at Mountain View Cemetery in Hazleton.

Mr. Drasher is also survived by two granddaughters and several nieces and nephews.

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