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Ralph Anthony Drees


Ralph Anthony Drees, 86, of Crescent Springs, KY, passed away peacefully on Saturday, March 27, 2021 at Hospice Care of St. Elizabeth in Edgewood, KY.

Ralph was the Chairman of the Board of The Drees Company, one of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky’s largest home builders, and one of the top 25 home builders in the nation. Under Ralph’s direction, Drees Homes has been honored with several awards, “Builder of the Year, America’s Best Builder, and the National Housing Quality Award”. Ralph was also very active in the community and a United States Army Veteran.

He served as Judge Executive of Kenton County (2004-2010), Chairman of Kenton County Airport Board (1990-2003), a Councilman for the City of Erlanger, Chairman of the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (1991-1992), President of the Home Builder’s Association of Kentucky (1985-1986) and Northern Kentucky (1965 & 1979), and he served as Chairman of the Area Planning Commission (1972-1977). Ralph was recognized in 1990 as the Northern Kentucky “Business Person of the Year”. Lastly, he was also the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Spirit of Construction Foundation, and in 2000, he was inducted into the Greater Cincinnati Business Hall of Fame.

Ralph was preceded in death by his parents, Theodore and Elizabeth Drees; his brothers, Joe and Richard Drees; and his grandson, Michael Drees.

He is survived by his loving wife of 64 years, Irmaleen Drees (nee Schultz); and his children, David (Karen) Drees, Lynn (Bill) Hemmer, Susan (Glen) Panoushek, Philip (Jennifer) Drees, and Barbara (Richard) Jones.

Ralph also leaves behind his beloved grandchildren, Alexa (Joe), Trey, Ryan, Paige, Scottie, Caitlyn, Sean, Megan, Tad, Weston, Mitchel, Cooper, and Georgia; and his great-grandson, Wiley.

Services for Ralph will be private.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky new building fund online at  or P.O. Box 332, Covington KY 41012.

To share a memory of Ralph or to offer your condolences, please visit

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Ralph Anthony Drees


Ralph Anthony Drees

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Ralph Anthony Drees


Kind man

I just found out that Mr. Drees passed away. My condolences. We lost so many this past year, but among them, a finer man would be hard to find. It was a privilege to care for him.

Dr. Jim Farrell

A man of integrity

In 1960 my family moved to Erlanger from out of state and my father met a 26 yr. old builder, recently of the U.S Army. No business suit on this man, just dressed for construction. He did have an old pickup and a compelling story of his father a builder in Campbell County. My father took to him right away. He built a first rate house for us and it was just around the corner from Ralph’s house. He is the example of how you conduct yourself in business with ethical values and hard work. Certainly a life well lived.
William Shaffer
Ft. Worth, Tx.

Our Condolences

So sorry for your loss. The Drees family is in our thoughts and prayers. I feel fortunate to have met Ralph a multiple time during my career with Drees Homes.

Chris Schrader

So very sorry for your loss.

A long life means so many memories but they do not lessen the pain any. I’ll always remember how quickly he would jump into a backyard basketball game, never giving an inch.
David & Ann Cook

May you find peace in knowing that Ralph now walks with God!

Our hearts are broken as we think about your family and the community of loving friends and NKY citizens who must accept that Ralph is no longer with us. It was impossible to be in his company and not feel like smiling. We don’t think he ever realized what a “giant of a man” he was because he went about living everyday humbly and with integrity.
To Erma, Phil, and Jennifer as well as all of his family, we extend our deepest sympathies; we know that his legacy will live on in the loving care of each of you. When you miss him most, look inside your hearts, for you’ll find him there.
With love,
Claire & Oscar Rummel

Prayers and Sympathy to the Drees Family

In the name of Our Savior Parish we offer our deep sympathy and prayers in grateful thanksgiving for all Ralph has done for our parish, the Northern Ky. Emergency Cold Shelter and so many involvements and support ! God bless each of you as we know Ralph is now sharing in the Risen Life of Jesus.
May you be filled His peace and comfort.
Peace, Prayers, Hope, Blessings
Sister Janet Bucher CDP & Our Savior Church

To the family of Ralph Drees

I just want you to know how much I have appreciated Mr. Drees and his always present and genuine smile. We met at several educational/community meetings over the past several years, then would occasionally run into each other at breakfast. He was always kind, pleasant, and had a way of recognizing me, even when I knew our paths had only crossed briefly. I am grateful to you, his family, and know he will be missed by many.
Dr. Barbara Zahler
Thomas More University (Professor of Ed; retired)

Deepest Sympthay

I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the Drees Family. Please know I am keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers. I was priviledged to have met Ralph and to work with the Drees Family and carry on his vision. He touched and made a difference in so many lives and I am comforted in the knowledge that there are many people that felt and remember his amazing positive influence. Thank you Ralph for your service to this country and to the homebuilding industry.
Denise Dimiceli

Ralph will be missed

Ralph was a wonderful friend to our family and he will be missed by all of us. His humor and smile could light up a room. Our deepest sympathies to the entire Drees family. May his memory shine brightly in your hearts.
The Toebben Family

Sympathy notice to Drees family

The thing that I remember about Ralph, He never met a stranger. When we closed on our townehome, Ralph made a special effort to stop and say thank you.
Also working as a community representative for Drees in Northern Ky., always felt that we were appreciated to cover for market mgrs. for their off days.
With deepest sympathy to the family
Mario Carovillano

Heartfelt Condolences to the Drees Family

What sad news to hear of Ralph’s passing. I had the pleasure of working for Drees for over 10 years. It was, and still is, at the top of my list of great places to work. Ralph led the company with heart and a great business sense. I will always remember his smile, laugh, and the tears he shed at each annual meeting. You are one of a kind, dear man. Heaven gained a very special angel. You will be missed by all who had the pleasure to know you. Rest in Peace, and condolences to Irma, David, Barbara and the family.

Debra (and Serling) Davis

RIP Ralph, you will be missed

I was fortunate to work for The Dress company for over 14 years, the last 9 as Executive Secretary to Ralph and David Dress. Ralph was always on the ball but never without his heart in mind. He was a kind and caring man and everyone in the company loved him. It will be hard to forget this man because he gave us so much to remember. RIP, Ralph and be sure to give Rocket a hug from us all. Ernie Tracy

My Sincerest Condolences to the Drees Family

With a saddened heart I send my deepest condolences to the entire Drees Family and all who had the pleasure to know him and work for him. I’m so sorry for his loss as it is tremendous. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have met him and truly admired this great, accomplished man. May he rest in eternal peace knowing he made a difference to our world in his lifetime. God Bless him.

Angela Johnston

Our sincere condolences to the Drees Family

Irma and families,
We are so sad to learn of Ralph’s passing. Our friendship goes back with fond and humorous memories. May God give you the strength and courage necessary to cope thru this sad time. You will all be in our thoughts and prayers. Fondly,
Jeane Moellering and Family

My Condolences to the Drees Family

I had the pleasure to eat lunch with Ralph and immediately his warm presence eased my nervousness.

Thank you, Ralph, for your kindness and your vision that helped transform Drees Homes into the company it is today! I am grateful for your hard work and dedication.

To the family, may your heart find peace and may you continue to celebrate Ralph with the many fond memories created over the years.

Chantee Adams

We lost a great person

Rest in peace Ralph, not only a great builder & developer but a even greater person, thoughts & prayers to the family, Tom Flesch

Our Condolences To The Drees Family

May God be with you, the Drees family, as you mourn the death of your beloved husband, father, father in-law, grandfather, and great grandfather!
What a great and kind and loving legend!!

We all mourn with you, the Drees family! Psalm 34:18.

UC Ukaoma’s family
Austin, Texas