TRAVERSE CITY — Andrew “Hank” Drelles died early on Sept. 15 at Munson Medical Center with family by his side. He was comforted and cared for by his loving son and daughter-in-law, Sam and Linda Drelles, during the last six years while he lived at Orchard Creek Supportive Care.
Hank was born on July 29, 1923, to George and Theodora (Trapalis) Drelles. He was the middle of nine children, or “the prime cut” as he referred to himself. Hank’s parents were Greek immigrants who were always proud of their heritage. His father was in the restaurant business most of his life.
As a teen Hank began working at the family restaurant. He graduated from Muskegon High School in 1942. It should come as no surprise to those who knew Hank that he was voted both class clown and best dressed.
Hank served in the military police in the United States Army during World War II. When Hank returned to Muskegon he noticed the girl next door had grown into a beautiful young woman. Her name was Aphrodite “Dottie” Danigelis and Hank was smitten by her curly dark hair. Dottie and Hank were married on Oct. 10, 1948. In 1950 they welcomed their first son, Andy, followed by their daughter, Annette in 1953, and their son, Sam, in 1956. Hank was forever telling his children that his greatest desire was that they have an even better life than him. They took many fun-filled family summer vacations to Glen Lake. Extended family was an important part of Hank’s life as well, and he was instrumental in organizing the numerous Drelles family reunions through the years.
Hank continued in the family restaurant business beside his father and siblings and in the late 60s opened the Tohado House Restaurant in Muskegon with two of his brothers. He ultimately retired at the age of 55.
He loved traveling and took several trips with Dottie to places such as Greece, Hawaii, Florida and Cabo San Lucas and frequent trips to visit his adult children and grandchildren. He was also involved in his community as a member of the Muskegon Elks, Muskegon Country Club, and served several years as president of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. In addition, Hank was very proud of being a 75-year member of the Muskegon YMCA.
After Dottie passed away in 2007, Hank moved to Traverse City to allow Sam and his wife, Linda, to help with his care. He lived the past six years at Orchard Creek outside Traverse City. This past July he had a wonderful 90th birthday party at Orchard Creek with several family members and friends.
A dear man to many, Andrew “Hank” Drelles was a vivacious, hardworking and fun-loving man who put spice into the world around him. Hank will never be forgotten.
The family wants to extend special thanks for the wonderful, loving care given to Hank by all the members of Orchard Creek. The family would also like to thank the staff at Munson Medical Center for the special care they provided Hank during his final three days. Finally, the family would like to thank Father Ciprian of the Archangel Gabriel Greek Orthodox Church in Traverse City for the many things he did for Hank.
Hank’s family includes his sons, Andrew Drelles, of New York, and Sam (Linda) Drelles, of Traverse City; daughter, Annette (Jim) Inouye, of California; grandchildren, Theodora “Teddy” Drelles, Nikolas “Jinji” Drelles, Brandon (Amanda) Inouye, Meagan (Sam Simpson) Drelles, Sarah (Marty) McManus and Derek Drelles; great-granddaughters, Norah and Amaya; brothers, Tony, Speros and Leo; and many nieces and nephews.
Hank was preceded in death by his wife, Dottie; siblings, Gus, Peter, James, Martha and Angie; and godsons, Todd Drelles and Samuel Dault.
Please visit www.clockfuneralhome.com to leave a memory, view an online video or sign the online guestbook.