On the Sunday in 2003 that members of Eastern Orthodox congregations observed the Resurrection, Dale Drews spoke at the Philadelphia Ethical Society on the subject of hope beyond death.

Essentially, he said, there is none.

"Humanism affirms that this life is the only one that we know about," Mr. Drews told an audience at the society on the south side of Rittenhouse Square.

The only hope that humanists have, he said, is "that we recognize that some things will follow us: the humanity of the future, including the succeeding generations."

On Friday, July 2, Mr. Drews, 74, a spokesman in Philadelphia and New York City for what are now called Ethical Humanist groups, died of cardiopulmonary arrest at Albert Einstein Medical Center.

At the time of the 2003 event, Mr. Drews was vice president of the local organization, reported to have about 65 members.

Resurrection and reincarnation, he said that Sunday, "are based more on desire than scientific evidence. . . . From the individual perspective, someone dies and someone is born to take your place."

In 1970, the American Ethical Union published his pamphlet, Humanist Conscientious Objection: A Guide for Men of Draft Age.

Born in Coffeyville, Kan., Mr. Drews graduated with high honors from Field Kindley High School there in 1953, earned a bachelor's degree in liberal arts at the University of Chicago in 1962, and became a certified leader in the American Ethical Union in 1964.

His partner, Elisabeth Lightbourn, said in a recent interview that becoming such a leader is "like becoming an ordained clergyman in a more traditional religion."

He earned a master's degree in sociology at the New School for Social Research in New York City in 1970 and a doctorate in sociology at Temple University in 1990.

Lightbourn wrote in material for his obituary that in the late 1950s, Mr. Drews worked several jobs in Chicago, such as driving a cab, "while increasingly involved in civil rights and peace activities."

In 1956, she said, he was among seven interracial members of the Chicago chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) who were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct after asking to be served at a Chicago cafe.

Lightbourn said that at one point he was president of Chicago CORE.

In 1959, she said, while acting as a member of the Washington chapter of CORE, he was ejected from a Baltimore amusement park while protesting the exclusion of African Americans there.

From 1959 to 1961, he worked as a conscientious objector at the National Service Board of Religious Objectors in Washington, where, Ms. Lightbourn said, he was president of the Washington Pacifist Fellowship.

After working in the 1960s as a leader of the Queens, N.Y., branch of what is now the Ethical Humanist Society, Mr. Drews was a sociology instructor from 1971 to 1976 at what is now Rowan University.

He was a part-time adjunct teacher at the Camden campus of Rutgers University from 1977 to 1994 and at Temple University from 1980 to 1990. He was an instructor at West Chester University in 1993-94.

Besides Lightbourn, Mr. Drews is survived by two nephews.

A memorial was set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 19, at the Ethical Humanist Society of Philadelphia, 1906 S. Rittenhouse Square.

Contact staff writer Walter F. Naedele at 215-854-5607 or wnaedele@phillynews.com.