NAHB Mourns Longtime Member Ralph Drees

Filed in Membership by on April 1, 2021 2 Comments

Ralph DreesRalph Drees, former CEO, president and chairman of Drees Homes, headquartered in Ft. Mitchell, Ky., passed away on March 27. He was an NAHB Senior Life Delegate and longtime member after taking over The Drees Company for his father and founder Theodore Drees in 1965.

Drees twice served as president of the BIA of Northern Kentucky in 1965 and 1979. His recognition at the local level included Builder of the Year in 1966, the Community Service Award in 1977, and the Donald M. Wiedeman Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.

“Working with Ralph was like working with a brother,” recalled Jack Miller, former senior VP of sales and marketing at Drees Homes and former chair of NAHB’s National Sales and Marketing Council. “He was warm-hearted, humble, and always cared about the people working for him. Ralph was the most honest man and you could always count on his word.”

Drees was also active at the state and national levels, serving as president of the Home Builders Association of Kentucky (HBAK) in 1986. Drees was a Life Member of the HBAK Board of Directors and served as Kentucky’s state representative for NAHB in 1981. Drees received the HBAK Lifetime Achievement Award in 1988, and in 1990 he was inducted into the Kentucky Housing Hall of Fame.

He was also an influential thread throughout the local community and was recognized for his philanthropy. “He led the way to a lot of changes and improvements in the community,” Miller said. Drees served as Kenton County Judge Executive, and was active with the Northern Kentucky Area Planning Commission, the Kenton County Airport Board, and the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Current president and CEO David Drees shared, “Ralph was a bold innovator, forging the company to new heights, but on the other hand, he was also my father, a loving, devoted family man and an exceptional role model who will be missed by many.”

A private memorial service will be held for the family. Memorial contributions can be made to the Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky.

Comments (2)

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  1. To all the Family, Employees and Friends I am so sorry and morn with you for this great loss. I never met him personally other than when I was new to the business and he came in my model home and said Wow these ceilings are high. I had no idea who he was. On Monday when I was visiting with the owner he said tell me about Ralph Drees and his visit. I told him all I could remember. Then my boss said do you have any idea who this man is? I said no sir who is he? Ralph Drees is the owner of DREES Homes. Rest In Peace.

  2. Scott Sedam says:

    Ralph Drees was the absolute definition of class in our industry. Not long after I went out on my own as an independent consultant, more than 20 years ago, he had me to his house for dinner and went out of his way to make me feel like I was someone special. That was just the kind of guy ‘Ralph was. He had such knowledge and vision yet was so kind and humble. Two years ago ProBuilder had him out to a conference where he was recognized as an “Industry Giant.” Ralph was all that and more. I will always treasure the conversation that night as he sat with a group of eager listeners around a table and told about his days building Drees Homes into one of the leading builders in America. We lost a great builder, but more than that, we lost a great man. It was an honor to know him.

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