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Roseann Drydale, a longtime DODDS teacher and area representative for the teachers’ union the past five years, died recently after a lengthy battle with cancer, officials said Monday. She was 52.

Drydale taught for the Department of Defense Dependents Schools-Europe for nearly 25 years before becoming the Federal Education Association area director for the Bavaria and Kaiserslautern school districts in 2002.

Diagnosed with ovarian cancer two years ago, Drydale continued to work up until a couple of months ago, according to friends and colleagues.

“She has to be one of the strongest ladies I have ever known,” said BettyLou Cummins, an English teacher at Ramstein High School in Germany and the vice president of FEA.

In 1989, Drydale was diagnosed with breast cancer but survived it and remained cancer free until two years ago, according to Cummins and Chuck McCarter, also an area representative for the union.

“She was a passionate advocate for teachers,” McCarter said, “and she was interested and concerned about early childhood education.”

The Oklahoma native began her DODDS career in 1978 as a teacher in Nuremburg, according to a DODDS news release. She also taught at Mannheim, Bad Kreuznach, Neubrücke, Sembach, all in Germany, and Sasebo, Japan. Also, as a child, Drydale attended DODDS schools in Europe and the Far East.

“She grew up in the overseas school system,” Cummins said, “so she was always striving for the best.”

Drydale died Aug. 29 in San Antonio, Texas, and was buried last Tuesday alongside her husband, John, at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery, Texas.

Memorial contributions in the name of Roseann Drydale can be made to: Army Fisher House, Attention, Russell Fritz, Fort Sam Houston Fisher Houses, 3623 George C. Beach Road, Fort Sam Houston, Texas 78234.

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