Richard Bernard Drude, M.D., F.A.C.P., F.A.C.G., age 71, passed away on Wednesday, November 24, 2021, at Lakeview Hospital with his loving family. Dr. Drude, above all else, was a leader, a humanitarian, a renowned diagnostician, and a Christian. A native of Ponchatoula, Louisiana, Richard was born to the late Adelette Melkie Drude and Richard Bernard Drude. He is survived by his loving wife of 41 years, Bonnie Rauschkolb Drude; his daughter, Rachel Drude-Tomori, Esq., LL.M., and husband, Brian Tomori; his son, Richard Ryan Drude, and fiancée, Kimberly Minton; his daughter, Christie Drude Caiado, and fiancé, Chaz Caiado; his grandson, Carson Caiado; and his sisters, Wendy Mannina and Mary Lynn Drude.
Richard attended St. Joseph School in Ponchatoula, where he enjoyed an idyllic childhood with his beloved boxer, Roxie, who followed him to school and waited for him every day; followed by Our Lady of Fatima High School for two years, then graduating with honors from Archbishop Shaw High School, where he was editor of the yearbook, senior class spokesman and leader of the math club and debate team.
Richard was an outstanding athlete, excelling as a baseball pitcher in grade school and as a defensive back and an amateur Golden Gloves boxer in high school. As an adult, he enjoyed golf and competed as an A level tennis player; he also taught himself to play the piano as a means of relaxation, and his vast collection of music, ranging from Rock 'n' Roll to New Age to Broadway, was his pride and joy.
As he finished high school, Richard was offered a football scholarship to Tulane University, but instead he chose to pursue a pre-med undergraduate degree at the University of New Orleans. After only three years of college, he was accepted to Louisiana State University School of Medicine New Orleans where he trained at Charity Hospital and earned his Doctor of Medicine (M.D.). Dr. Drude went on to complete his internship and Internal Medicine residency at Earl K. Long Medical Center in Baton Rouge, followed by his fellowship in Gastroenterology at Oschner Hospital in New Orleans.
Upon completion of his fellowship, Dr. Drude served as a Captain in the U.S. Air Force, where he was Chief of Gastroenterology. During his service, he received the American Academy of Family Physicians Teacher Recognition Award, the U.S.A.F. Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service, the Humanitarian Service Medal, and the Unit Citation Award.
Dr. Drude was a member of the American College of Physicians, American College of Gastroenterology, American Gastroenterological Endoscopists, American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopists, and the Louisiana Medical Society. He was elected Fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Gastroenterology.
Dr. Drude launched his career in Gastroenterology on the Northshore in 1983. Soon thereafter, he founded the Northlake Gastroenterology Group where he served as Senior Partner until 2008. At Highland Park Hospital, Dr. Drude served on the Governing Board and as Chief of Staff, Chief of Medicine, and Medical Director. Highland Park Hospital later transitioned into Columbia Lakeview Regional Medical Center, where Dr. Drude continued to serve as a Governing Board Member. Later, Dr. Drude found his true calling as a solo practitioner, where he was able to incorporate his Christian faith into the lives of his patients and their families.
Dr. Drude saw the need to promote education and awareness relative to Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis on the Northshore. For his leadership in this area, Dr. Drude was elected Physician Member of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA); honored as a Member of the State of Louisiana CCFA Advisory Board; awarded the Distinguished Leadership Award CCFA; and elected President of the State Board CCFA of Louisiana. Dr. Drude also served on the Executive Committee and as President of the St. Tammany Parish Medical Society, President of the North Shore Gut Club, Alternate Director of L.A.M.P.A.C., and Chairman, L.S.M.S. Committee on Federal Legislation.
Throughout his medical career, Dr. Drude was an in-demand speaker for multiple drug companies and participated in numerous drug studies on the Northshore. With a talent for making medical topics accessible to the public, he was a frequent guest lecturer on cable television. Dr. Drude always said that medicine is also an art, not only a science. When other doctors could not find the answer to a patient's ailments, Dr. Drude became the detective and diagnostician who could piece together the unsolvable puzzle and get to the root cause. Medicine was his life and his art: his legacy.
Visitation will be held at 11 AM, followed by a service for family and friends at 12 PM on Monday, November 29, 2021, at the Chapel at First Baptist Church Covington: 16333 Louisiana Highway 1085, Covington, LA 70433. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Dr. Drude's name to Crohn's & Colitis Foundation: https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org.
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