Donald E. Drier of Lansing passed away on February 27, 2023 following a short hospital stay. He was the father of Michele and Erica and brother of Jeanette and Diane. He is survived by several cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, Fred and Elsie, and his brother, David.
Don was a graduate of Lansing High School and Vale Technical Institute. He was a Vietnam Veteran who served in the U.S. Army from August 1968 to March 1970.
Don’s love of tractors, trains and cars was born in his childhood growing up on a farm in Lansing where his family moved when he was five years old. If it had a motor, he was obsessed and he wanted to go fast. Don started his career as an auto mechanic at a few local car dealerships but he was always working on racing motors on the side. He opened his own repair shop in the late 1980s and his business evolved from maintaining personal vehicles to building engines for pull trucks, dragsters and stock cars. This was his specialty and where he found the most excitement and satisfaction. His passion was designing motors and dreaming up ways to make more power. Anybody who knew Don knew he was a real motor head. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of car parts and he could fix anything. Other mechanics would seek his expert advice to solve all sorts of car problems.
Donald was known by many names - Don, Donnie, Grease, Big D, D, but most importantly he was Dad. His daughters were his pride and joy and they meant the world to him. His love of cars was only outweighed by his love for his daughters.
The family would like to thank all the friends who checked in on Don the past couple of years when he became homebound. Whether bringing groceries, mowing the lawn, doing odd jobs, or calling or stopping by just to say hello, your acts of caring and kindness are appreciated beyond words. To all the "car guys" who called Don to ask for guidance or simply talk about that week's Nascar race or drag race, or who got him out to the shop for a few hours, thank you for your friendship and for keeping him engaged.
A memorial service will be held April 22, 2023 at 11am at East Shore Christian Fellowship, 2049 E. Shore Drive in Lansing. A lite reception will follow for family and good friends at Beacon Hill Events, 1638 E. Shore Drive in Ithaca from 12:30-2:30pm. RSVP and more details can be found in this link https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/H599R5K
Donations in Don's memory may be made to Cayuga Medical Center Foundation, 101 Dates Drive, Ithaca, NY 14850 or donate online at https://cayugahealth.org/giving/cayuga-medical-center-foundation/donate/
Big D was a larger-than-life character and there are so many funny stories about him. If you’d like to write some memories or stories in advance to share with Michele and Erica, there will be a drop box at the church and reception to collect them.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Bangs Funeral Home, Ithaca, NY. Online condolences may be made to Donald’s family at www.bangsfuneralhome.com.
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