Jay Drury

Pharmacist Jay Drury to retire after 47 years

During the summer between his sophomore and junior high school years, Jay Drury applied for a job at Madsen Drugs in Pipestone.   During his first day at work he decided that he wanted to someday be a pharmacist.   

His entry into the workforce was as a stock boy where he learned the job from the bottom up. He swept the floors and sidewalks, cleaned the basement, and did all sorts of jobs that needed doing. “It was a good foundation that was invaluable for me,” Drury said during a recent interview. “It was important because while I was still in high school I knew what I wanted to be.”   When there were academic challenges, knowing he wanted to be a pharmacist  kept him focused on his career goal.

His experiences as a paperboy also provided valuable life lessons.  Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night left residents with empty, newspaperless hands. There were no days off, except maybe bank/mail holidays. 

He learned a lot of valuable life lessons from those first jobs — responsibility, money management, time management and people skills. He kept a ledger of customers, tracking their payments, subscription details, and vacations. If you wanted things, you had to save up for them Not only did he have to go door to door to collect money in person, if he wanted to make more money, he needed to solicit more customers.   He was often invited into homes of his customers for refreshments, and he had the opportunity for conversation with adults. 

So much of what we are today comes from things we did long ago. 

At his job in the pharmacy, Drury watched the owner/ pharmacist, Ivan “Ike” Madsen, work and he saw how customers knew him, related to him, relied on him and respected him.   

He enrolled in South Dakota State University, Brookings, S.D., in the fall of 1966 and began to study pharmacy. During summers, weekends and holiday breaks he continued to work at Madsen Drugs in his hometown.  He graduated and received his pharmacy license in 1971.

During his last semester of studies, he followed the footsteps of a friend who was working at Kendall Drugs in Brookings. Drury interviewed for a job, was hired and worked there for six years. 

Then with the opportunity to work at a larger store, he got a job at Willmar Family Drugs that had a variety of departments as well as a pharmacy. 


See complete story in this week's issue of the Springfield Advance-Press.

Springfield Advance-Press

13 S. Marshall Avenue PO Box 78 Springfield, MN 56087