It’s been said that the real measure of a person is not what they possess when they’re here, but rather what they leave behind.
That was the sentiment this week following the death of longtime Healdsburg Little League officer and champion Denny Drowty, who passed away peacefully at his home in Healdsburg on Oct. 8, with Carol, his wife and partner of 41 years, at his side.
For more than two decades, Drowty was synonymous with Healdsburg Little League (HLL), spending countless hours serving in capacities ranging from manager/coach, umpire, board member, concessions manager, treasurer and Opening Day emcee, to name a few. At one point, it was noted that he had performed virtually every job in the HLL.
Born in Gary, Indiana in 1943, Drowty was a Vietnam veteran and worked in finance for many years before he and Carol retired to Healdsburg in 1999. They soon immersed themselves into the community, serving as volunteers to nonprofit organizations, including the Healdsburg Animal Shelter, Green Dog Rescue Project, Recreation Park Renovation, Raven Performing Arts Theater, Healdsburg Hospital and Boys & Girls Club Fundraisers. But most dear to their hearts was the HLL, which became their passion for the next 20-plus years.
Along the way, Drowty was a driving force behind the partnership of the HLL with the Positive Coaching Alliance. Recently, he helped start the Dave Miller HLL Fair Play Scholarship for high school seniors, raising more than $20,000 for the fund.
Drowty’s selfless work behind the scenes was instrumental in the success of the HLL, helping out in whatever capacity was needed.
“His passion, energy, excitement and fierce devotion to the league and to the kids, was extraordinary,” longtime HLL board member and current league president Cindy Beth reflected. “I always called him the ‘barometer of the HLL.’ He was a great friend and I counted on him as a mentor, but the thing I am most grateful for is that my now adult children were able to know such an amazing person and a perfect example of how to love, fight for, and give back to your community.”