List Firm Founder Alan Drey Dies at 79

Long-time list professional and list firm founder Alan Drey died Friday in his sleep at a Chicago area nursing home. He was 79.

Drey got into the list business in the late 1940s and opened a Chicago office of his uncle’s list firm Walter Drey Co. in 1951, which later became Alan Drey Co. The firm was closed a year ago.

“He had just turned 79 on August 3 and seemed to be doing fairly well,” said JoAnn Fabian, who was Drey’s secretary and later an officer of the firm. “Just the fact that I was with him for over 40 years speaks highly of him. He was a real people person and a good man.”

Over the past 20 years, Drey had not been involved in the day-to-day operations of the firm but still worked for Alan Drey Co. out of a Florida office.

“Alan had a good intuition and a great business mind and at the same time he was extremely personable,” said Pat Patten, who served as president of Alan Drey Co. from 1989 until the firm closed last August. “He was a networker before the term networking existed.”

Drey was involved in the development of the commercial merge purge product System DupliMatch, as well as early ZIP models.

“He seemed to be ahead of the game early on with modeling and analysis and he was willing to make investments,” Patten said.

A service for Drey will be held this Thursday, Aug. 28 at Winnetka Congregational Church, 725 Pine Street, Winnetka, IL at 3 p.m.

Drey is survived by his son, Robert, and daughter, Ann Pirruccello.

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