Gary Driskell

Gary Driskell, 50, Independence, MO passed away February 23, 2008. A visitation will be held 6-8 PM, Feb 29, 2008 at Maywood Baptist Church,10505 Winner Rd, Independence, MO. A celebration of life will be held 10 AM, March 1st at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Gary Driskell Memorial Fund. Gary was born June 13, 1957 in Independence, MO. He was a prominent Contemporary Christian songwriter, singer, and worship leader. Gary was the recipient of two Dove Awards and had songs featured on several gold and platinum recordings. He was a 1975 graduate of Truman HS, attended William Jewell College and Mid America Nazarene University. Gary played first base and pitcher for Queen City & Kiwanis and later coached little league baseball. He lived in Nashville, TN for eleven years, where he was under contract with Gaither, Star Song, and Word publishers. He served as director of music for two years at First Church of the Nazarene in Hutchinson KS, and for thirteen years at Maywood Baptist Church in Independence MO. Gary devoted himself to a tireless study of worship: its origins, development , and impact. Survivors include: parents, Joseph & Barbara Driskell, Independence, MO; wife, Debbie Driskell, of the home; son & daughter in law, Brian & Lori Driskell, Lee’s Summit, MO; daughter, Sarah Driskell, son, Joel Gregory Driskell, Independence, MO; sister & brother in law, Debra Jo & Robert Lynn North Manchester, IN, and several nieces and nephews. (arr. Heartland Cremation & Burial Society, 816-313-1677)

Visits: 22


  1. Kathy Kueffer on February 27, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    Gary was as absolute musical genious. He brought a whole new meaning to worship. Knowing him was a true blessing and honor. God better take good care of him up there, because we sure are going to miss him down here.

  2. Terri Randol on February 27, 2008 at 6:05 pm

    Gary was a treasured member of our Truman class of 1975. We will always cherish our times together. What we keep in memory
    is ours unchanged forever!

    With love from the 1975 Truman Classmates!

  3. Brenda Beck Fisher on February 27, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    I will always have fond memories of my youth by having Gary as one of my dear friends. He will be missed now that he is experiencing ’another time and another place.’

  4. Carol Patterson Massey on February 27, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Even though I didn’t know Gary very well, it is always sad to hear that another of our classmates has been taken from us. I know how his wife Debbie has to be feeling because I too lost my husband only seven short months ago. I know how difficult it is to go on with life when you have lost the one you love so much. May God Bless him and his family.

  5. Vicki Mohr Romero on February 27, 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Play some pretty tune up there so we can all hear them. You will me mised.

  6. Loren Wheaton on February 27, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    Things that I remember about Gary Driskell.

    Gary. I heard about Gary this morning and it really hit me quite hard. I had the privilege of sitting with Gary in High School in one of my favorite classes, concert choir, under Phil Dunham. It was hard to be quiet sitting next to Gary and we got into trouble several times. We were also in Trutones together. We were the subject of a Trutones meeting one time because of absent mindedness on our part and we missed a performance. The group decided to keep us on and we were both glad for that.

    Many times Gary would come to class “Dead Dog” tired. We would ask what was going on and many times the answer was, “I had another song.” We knew what this meant. It meant that Gary had had a tune come to him in the middle of the night and he wasn’t able to go to sleep unless he got up and wrote at least the idea down. At a time of no computers, this often took many hours and it was exhausting for Gary. I can’t remember the tune that he wrote for our graduation or much about it. I do remember that there wasn’t a dry eye in the house and it was difficult for us to get through because we were all choked up.

    We all knew that Gary was extremely talented musical wise. He invited a friend and I to play our horns for a jam session, I believe, at his church. He had written several Chicago tunes down and we did our best, no rehearsal, and to us it sounded like there was nothing better. I’m sure that it was otherwise.

    After graduation, I moved to Oklahoma and lost touch with Gary. My parents still live in Independence and on one visit with them I caught wind that Gary was back in our home town and was serving at Maywood Baptist Church. My wife (Patti Lynam) and I went to visit their service one morning and I was extremely glad to see that he still remembered us. In high school, one of Patti’s friends was Mary Moberly whose older sister was dating Gary at the time and they were paid several times to, “Just go away.” I’m sure that they were pests. One of the pieces that we heard at the worship service was “Have Mercy on Me, O God” taken from Psalms 51. I told him that I absolutely had to have a copy of that song and I have used it everywhere I go when leading services here in Tulsa Oklahoma. I’ve never found anyone who hasn’t loved it.

    Gary was not one to put on “Airs” and in fact he was quite the opposite. On one visit he told me to come into his office and have a seat while he caught up on something that he was working on. He asked me if I wanted to see his two “Dove” awards and then he started looking around. “I think that they’re under that pile of papers on the couch.” That was just Gary. He was not, “Yea, I’ve got two Dove awards, and I’m going to shove in your face so I can feel superior to you,” type of personality. Me, I would have probably set them up in a lit show case or something, but I know that will never be a problem for me. I can’t for the life of me ever recall anyone who disliked him in school and school was pretty rough for most of us.

    The last time that I had an opportunity to visit Gary, I came away knowing where Gary’s heart was toward God and I know that He’s now experiencing the Isiah six passage where Isiah saw the Lord. I am saddened to know that Gary has passed on and it has left an empty place in our lives. I am not broken though because I know that Gary is with the Lord right now and one day I’ll get to sit next to him in choir and we’ll ruffle Mr. Dunham’s feathers once again.

  7. Pam (Moberly) Blair on February 28, 2008 at 8:02 am

    I don’t know where to even begin. . . .I was fortunate enough to attend two high school proms with Gary, revel in his musical abilities and share a friendship beyond measure. The memories are too numerous to begin to mention. I will always remember Gary’s quick wit and his ability to always make me laugh, even when times didn’t seem so funny. I also had the fortune of having Gary in Concert Choir and Drama Class. Music Theory class was a breeze for him but it boggled my mind and I couldn’t understand how it was “just so easy.” My heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with everyone and I hope that you find comfort in knowing that Gary rests in the arms of our Heavenly Father. May He give you peace during this time.

  8. Greg Walker on February 28, 2008 at 8:19 am

    What a shock to hear of Gary’s passing. Gary and I were in a garage band in High School and played in the Battle of the Bands. He was a marvelous musician and composer. Probably was responsible for some of the best times in my life during High School. Thankfully we all know he is in a better place, though we will no longer be blessed with his presence. My heartfelt condolences to his family. I can’t even imagine their sorrow at this time. It was an honor knowing him as he was truly one of our brightest stars.

  9. Randy Umsted on February 29, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    I am saddened by the loss of such a wonderful man. I haven’t seen Gary in a number of years, but he was an inspiration to me and probably all those who knew him. He is with the Lord now and singing with the angels, and although he is in a far better place than any of us can imagine, he will be missed dearly. God, bless Gary’s family and be with them through this difficult time.

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