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.
You may view Darrel's livestream photos and funeral service at 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. You may share a message with the family or sign an on-line guest book via www.parklawnfunerals.com. Arrangements: Park Lawn Northland Chapel (816) 781-8228.