Cover photo for Ilse Drawe's Obituary
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1928 Ilse 2022

Ilse Drawe

January 14, 1928 — November 13, 2022

Ilse Anni Drawe died November 13, 2022, in Progreso, Texas, at the age of 94. Visitation will be at McCaleb Funeral Home in Weslaco, Texas, on Thursday, November 17, from 5-8 pm. A service will be held at McCaleb Funeral Home on Friday, November 18, at 11 am, prior to the graveside service at Ebony Grove Cemetery in Mercedes, Texas.

Ilse Drawe was born January 14, 1928, in Bremen, Germany, to Richard and Frieda Braeuer. She was in her late teens working at a U. S. Operated PX in Bremen when she met Bill Drawe, who was in the Army Air Corp and stationed in Bremen after World War II. Shortly after, Ilse was on an ocean-going freighter heading to the Port of Brownsville to be married to a farmer in Mercedes, Texas.

Ilse was brilliant. Along with raising two boys, she earned her college degree from Pan American College in Edinburg. Ilse taught German, French, and English at Weslaco High School for many years.

Ilse, Bill, and the boys regularly attended the First Baptist Church in Mercedes, where Ilse volunteered as a Sunday school teacher and sang in the choir.

Ilse had plenty of hobbies. However, she was most passionate about her Bridge game. Ilse became a renowned Bridge player earning the "Life Master" award numerous times. Ilse and her longtime bridge companion, Betty Hollon, were fearless competitors known throughout the Rio Grande Valley and beyond. They traveled all over the country to play in tournaments. Ilse once played the famous Omar Sharif, one of the greatest bridge players. Ilse's competitive nature allowed her to play a game she had loved her entire life.

Ilse was an art and theatre enthusiast. She was also very talented. When Ilse was young, she performed ballet in German theatre. Ilse also opened a dance studio, Mercedes School of Dancing, the first one in the city. However, Ilse's talents were not limited to dancing and singing, she was an artist, and her paintings were beautiful.

Ilse spent her retirement years at her residence on South Padre Island, where she continued pursuing hobbies like painting and playing bridge. In addition, she enjoyed traveling and line dancing with her many friends on the Island.

Ilse was a gracious woman with a serene and gentle personality, overflowing with generosity and warmth.

Ilse is preceded in death by her parents, her sisters Ursula Braeuer, Erika Braeuer, and Helga Gabbert, and her husband Bill, who died in 1979. She is survived by two sons, Richard (Rutha) of Progreso and Billy (Roseann) of San Antonio, grandchildren Jeff Drawe, Malcolm O'Dowd (Stacy), Patricia O'Dowd, great-grandson Jack Drawe and numerous nieces and nephews.

Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Ted Hollon, Martin Brewer, Louie Bunton, Wally Bunton, and Lindley Lentz.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ilse Drawe, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Public Visitation

Thursday, November 17, 2022

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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