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Romilya McGrew Driese, 87

Romilya McGrew Driese, born July 6, 1933, age 87, passed away peacefully on July 28, 2020 of natural causes. 

A long-time resident of San Diego, Escondido and Vista, California, Mrs. Driese was born at Mercy Hospital in San Diego and was the daughter of Mildred Craven McGrew and Alan Bracken McGrew. 

She is survived by her son, Bruce Alan Howard of Valley Center, and daughter, Diane Elizabeth Howard Marston, of Woodland Hills, a sister, La Delia McGrew Musante of Las Cruces, New Mexico, three step children, Thomas Hubert Howard of Dallas, Oregon, Suzanne Caroline Howard Marr of Yreka, California and Gary Allan Howard of Dallas, Oregon; five grandchildren, Kimberly Romilya Howard, Elizabeth Georgiana Howard, Alexandria LaPonte, Christian Robeson and adopted grandson, Austin Tyler Tracy, three great grandchildren and two great, great grandchildren.

Mrs. Driese attended Central Elementary School in Vista, California. The family then moved to Dearborn, Michigan where her father worked for the Ford Motor Company as an in-house writer. The family moved back to Vista, where Romilya graduated from Vista High School. 

After spending two years at Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri, she transferred to and graduated from Occidental College in Los Angeles with a BA in History. She worked at the San Diego Union and the Times Advocate in Escondido in the advertising sales departments. She married Hubert “Bert” William Howard in 1954 and had two children, Bruce Alan Howard and Diane Elizabeth Howard. 

She was a partner to John Lettman at The Mailing House, an advertising agency in San Diego. She remarried in 1966 to Donald Nelson Driese of Valdez, Alaska and lived in Del Cerro, and then moved the family to Escondido. 

Mrs. Driese belonged to many organizations including the San Diego PEO Chapter BR, the Escondido PEO Chapter FV, and The Wednesday Club in San Diego. She also served two terms on the board of directors of the San Diego Historical Society and was a Kiwanian.  

A life-long lover of the arts, she was a member of the San Diego Opera Guild, an active patron of the San Diego Symphony and an early champion of the San Diego Library. After the passing of her husband, Donald Driese, whom she was married to for over 27 years, she worked in managerial positions for Cox Communications in San Diego for 23 years. 

Mrs. Driese influenced and introduced her family, friends, and their children to her love of the arts with trips to concerts, operas, symphonies, museums, and art galleries. She had a love of Baja, Mexico, and over the years shared her trips and experiences through her many papers and writings. She will be greatly missed by all whose lives she touched and unselfishly mentored during her lifetime.

One response to “Romilya McGrew Driese, 87”

  1. Ross E Porter says:

    Romilya was conversant with every topic under the sun, but never boastful about her knowledge. I met her first when I was just 11 and there was committee work that she and my mother shared. She tracked my progress through the years and when I needed work in the 1990s, aged 40, she recommended me for a position. Her help re-started my career, and her friendship meant much to our family. May her spirit soar, and her love live on in us.

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