Ralph Drees, former Kenton County judge-executive who led local building firm The Drees Company, has died at the age of 86.
He died on Saturday at Hospice Care of St. Elizabeth in Edgewood, KY.
Drees was the chairman of the board for The Drees company and led the business to become one of the largest home-building companies in the Greater Cincinnati region.
From 2004 to 2010, the Crescent Springs, KY, native served as judge-executive of Kenton County. The county honored Drees in 2018 as a Pioneer Award honoree and presented him with a plaque bearing a proclamation for "his outstanding community leadership." The award honors living residents in Kenton County who have a record of service to the community, according to the county's website.
“We lower our flag for a pioneer who built his legacy through years of outstanding community leadership,” said Fort Mitchell Mayor Jude Hehman.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Irma and the entire (Ralph) Drees family today.
— City of Fort Mitchell (@fortmitchellgov) March 28, 2021
To support improvements in Devou Park, The Drees Company, under Drees' leadership, donated Drees Pavilion to the City of Covington in 2003. The announcement marked the company's 75th anniversary.
Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, in a statement issued Saturday morning, expressed his condolences for Drees' wife and the rest of the family.
"Ralph Drees grew his family’s company into a national powerhouse with a commitment to quality and a drive for success," reads McConnell's statement. "He joined talent and vision to give countless families the chance to realize their own part of the American Dream. Both as a philanthropist and Kenton County Judge-Executive, Ralph helped create a community anyone would be proud to call home. The impact of Ralph’s leadership and generosity can be seen throughout Northern Kentucky. Elaine and I send our condolences to Irma and the entire Drees family. We’re grateful for everything he did for Kentucky."