“My father Bob Drebelbis, who many of you knew as Dreb passed today at 94,” wrote daughter Candi Garrison in a November 16 email. “His years with you as your Secretary Treasurer were always precious to him. He drew cartoons at his home in the Air Force Village until he went into the hospital just last week. Always a cartoonist to the end.”
Cartooning was actually Col. Robert “Dreb” Drebelbis’s third career, after working as a variety store merchant for the SS Kresge Co., and serving as pilot in both WWII and the Korean War. He was commissioned as a Officer in the USAF and retired in 1973.
Dreb later became a cartoonist for the Harrison Daily Times in Harrison, Ark., drawing throughout the ’70s and ’80s. He was a long-time member of the AAEC and Secretary-Treasurer from 1981 to 1984.
In fact, it was Drebelbis who famously —and literally — threw Doug Marlette out of the 1982 San Francisco convention for being behind on dues and trying to charge his room to the AAEC.
R.C. Harvey recalled “When he was confronted by [Dreb], who attempted to advise him of his error, Marlette brushed him off. The gentleman in question took umbrage at this and grabbed Marlette by the collar and marched him away; [Marlette] never came back…”
Drebelbis is survived by three children, and seven grandchildren.