Larry Crosby, dean of the Peter F. Drucker and Masatoshi Ito Graduate School of Management, and Rick Wartzman, executive director of the Drucker Institute, have released the following statement:
It is with a heavy heart that we inform you of the loss of one of our own. We honor the passing of Doris Schmitz Drucker, entrepreneur, author, avid sportswoman and mountain climber, and widow of the late eminent management theorist and professor, Peter F. Drucker. She died yesterday, October 1, at age 103. Doris was a strong advocate of the Claremont Graduate University and remained closely connected to the University, having long served on the Drucker Institute Board of Advisors. She helped establish the Doris Drucker Chair in Global Management in the Drucker School and was awarded an honorary doctorate from CGU in 2001. She will be deeply missed by her many friends in the university and Claremont communities.
Without question, hers was a “life well lived.” Born in Koenigstein, Germany in 1911, Doris aspired to be a physician. She immigrated first to Paris, then to London where she married her husband. They immigrated to the United States in 1937. In her 77 years in the United States, she lived in Bronxville, New York; Bennington, Vermont; Montclair, New Jersey; and in Claremont, moving here in 1971 when her husband Peter joined the CGU faculty. Coincidentally, in 1951, the Drucker family spent a summer in Claremont, traveling across the country by train—with a detour to Estes Park, Colorado, which became the Drucker’s favorite summer vacation spot.
Mrs. Drucker worked as a scientific translator, market researcher and technical patent agent in New York in the late ‘60s, after raising her children. She was the first woman to earn a master’s degree in physics from Fairleigh Dickinson University (New Jersey). She edited and critiqued all of her late husband’s 39 books, providing keen insight and invaluable help, which Professor Drucker acknowledged in numerous book dedications. She was a gracious host to many of his consulting clients, who enjoyed coming to their home to socialize with Professor and Mrs. Drucker both. With Professor Drucker, she visited Japan many times, becoming enamored with—and knowledgeable about—Japanese art.
In the 1990s, Mrs. Drucker also founded RSQ LLC. As CEO, she invented, patented, and oversaw the manufacturing and marketing of a voice volume feedback device, called “Visivox,” designed for public speakers. She wrote a memoir,Invent Radium or I’ll Pull Your Hair (University of Chicago Press, 2004), about which the review in USA Today noted, “She has a terrific touch as a writer, making this a fast and absorbing read.”
An avid tennis player, Mrs. Drucker joined the Claremont Club early in its existence, and played tennis there through her 100th birthday. She also enjoyed skiing, figure skating, and especially mountain climbing. She hiked in Rocky Mountain National Park for over 50 years, ultimately summiting almost every peak; and celebrated her 70th birthday with a trek in Nepal, reaching 16,000-feet of elevation. She volunteered as a driver for the American Red Cross in New Jersey and, for over 20 years, for Meals on Wheels in Claremont. She was active in several Episcopal parishes in the Claremont area.
Mrs. Drucker was known by her many, many friends as generous, helpful, pragmatic, funny, intelligent, and exceedingly caring. Neighbors report often receiving gifts of grapefruit jam, or lemons from a backyard tree, and her dinner parties were legendary. When she received an opportunity to view the launch of the Space Shuttle in Florida, she invited a neighbor’s teenage girl to come along with her and her grandsons on the trip because she thought the youngster would enjoy seeing the launch too.
Mrs. Drucker is survived by her four children: Kathleen Spivack of Watertown, Massachusetts; J. Vincent Drucker (Wendy) of Mill Valley, California; Cecily Drucker, of Mill Valley, California; and Joan Winstein of Oak Park, Illinois, and by four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, as well as by one grandchild.
A memorial service is being planned by the family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens (1500 N. College Ave.) or Pilgrim Place (625 Mayflower Road), both in Claremont, California, 91711.