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Gourley, Darrel W.

Gourley, Darrel W.

February 23, 1926 — May 21, 2020

***A live streamed service will begin at 2:00 pm Sunday, May 31, 2020. Please see the attached link. https://vimeo.com/423720140/f0a23dd4ba***

Darrel Wright Gourley, husband, father, grandfather, and beloved coach at William Jewell College, passed away May 21, 2020, at Norterre Living Center in Liberty, MO, at the age of 94.

Darrel was born February 23, 1926, in Cabool, MO, the second of five children of Wright Houston and Mabel Lucinda (Skiles) Gourley. He served in the US Army Air Forces from 1944 until receiving honorable discharge as Corporal on March 4, 1946.

Darrel graduated from high school in Mountain Grove, MO, received his Bachelor's degree from Truman State University, Kirksville, and received his Master's degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Darrel's career in education spanned more than four decades. For eight years he taught and served as a school principal before beginning his 33-year career at William Jewell College in 1958. At Jewell, Darrel coached football, golf, Track and Field, Cross Country and wrestling, and served as an Associate Professor of Physical Education until retirement in 1991. He was honored to be a member of the Missouri State Sports Hall of Fame. Darrel was a 60-plus year member of Second Baptist Church in Liberty and served as a deacon. He was also a founding member of Claycrest Golf Club.

Darrel was united in marriage to Margaret Whittom on November 24, 1948, and they raised three children in Liberty. Margaret preceded Darrel in death on December 24, 2004. He was later united in marriage to Vonda Lankford Johnson on January 9, 2010. She survives, also living at Norterre.

Along with his parents and wife Margaret, Darrel was preceded in death by brothers, Gene Gourley and James Gourley and sister, Lola Stoddard.

Other survivors include his children, Marilyn Wolverton (Randy), Mark Gourley (Terri) and Jeff Gourley (LeeAnne); eight grandchildren, seven great grandchildren; Vonda's children, David Johnson (Sandy) and Janet Johnson (Jim Alm); four step-grandchildren and a step-great grandson. He also leaves a sister, Bonnie Bojarsky, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other family members and many friends, including the hundreds of students he taught and athletes he coached for more than 40 years.

A live streamed service will begin at 2:00 pm Sunday, May 31, 2020. Please see the attached link.  https://vimeo.com/423720140/f0a23dd4ba  Burial with a family ceremony and military honors at Glenridge Cemetery, Liberty. A memorial celebration for family and friends will be held at William Jewell College, time and date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to InAsMuch Ministry, 2050 Plumbers Way, Suite 190, Liberty, MO 64068.

Service Information

A live streamed service will begin at 2:00 pm Sunday, May 31, 2020. Please see the attached link.  https://vimeo.com/423720140/f0a23dd4ba  Burial with a family ceremony and military honors at Glenridge Cemetery, Liberty. A memorial celebration for family and friends will be held at William Jewell College, time and date to be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to InAsMuch Ministry, 2050 Plumbers Way, Suite 190, Liberty, MO 64068.

Gourley, Darrel W.'s Guestbook

Darrell inspired us all with his kindness and wisdom. It has been our blessing to know him. What a wonderful legacy he leaves for us all.

Kit & Dale Johnson/Oklahoma City

Coach Gourley left a lasting impression on me over the years. I played and Coach with him at William Jewell and he taught me many things during those times. He was at every William Jewell sporting event I went to and he always greeted me a big smile and a handshake. I was honored to coach Track at William Jewell when Coach Graves started the Darel Gourley Open Track meet. He was a legend that touched many life's.

Marty Hensley

Darrel was a fine gentleman and a friend to all. He often humorously claimed credit for Mavis Miller from Trenton, MO, coming to William Jewell. He hosted her and a friend on a campus visit in 1960. I am grateful to him because Mavis and I met at William Jewell and we have been married 55+ years. I always looked forward to visiting with Darrel following Sunday worship services at Second Baptist Church for many years. Always had a great, welcoming smile.

Richard and Mavis Groves

Even though I was unable to make the service, my wife and I were blessed to have been able to watch the online live stream service and see all the pictures. Uncle Darrel left a great legacy and family to be proud of for sure. What a blessing to this world. He was truly blessed in this life with the love of his family.

Randy and Debbie Gourley

I had the privilege of playing Football and participating in Track & Field under Coach Gourley. Deep respect!

Larry Bruns, ’81

Darrel Gourley was one of my football coaches at William Jewell College from 1958-1961. He also was from Mountain Grove, Mo., where my dad, Mack Gladden, was the football coach in the 40's. Coach was a great teacher in care and treatment of athletic injuries and was an outstanding motivator as my coach. He would walk in the classroom and his favorite comment was "As you were". Rest in Peace Coach Gourley.

Jim Gladden

Coach DW, Always had a kind word and a friendly smile to greet you. He also had many stories that taught lessons as well as make you laugh. I always thought he was like Abraham Lincoln in that way of getting his teaching point across with humor and humility. He also had the best twinkle in his eye when he would crack up at practice. He was a joy to play for and hang out with. To Jeff and the rest of his family, our deepest condolences. JIMI

James Reed

"Coach Gourley a good man and they raised a wonderful family". A privilege to have had him as a coach and teacher at WJC. My fondest thoughts to the family. John Ball

John Ball

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