Jerry Dale Driesens went to be with the Lord on October 26, 2010, at the age of 62. He was born on December 19, 1947, to Gerald Nelson Driesens and Ruth Olthoff Driesens in Grand Rapids, Mich. He grew up there and later moved to Phoenix, Ariz., graduating from Phoenix Christian High School. He joined the United States Coast Guard from 1967-1971 and then went on to graduate with a master’s in history from Northern Arizona University. In 1972 he married Joan Langeland and they moved to Pagosa Springs in 1975 where he taught in the junior high school and coached junior high basketball and football, and high school baseball for nine years. He also sold real estate for over 30 years. He was actively involved in Centerpoint Church particularly in establishing Pagosa Christian School and in giving to many Christian ministries.
He spent much of his time hiking, rafting, kayaking, skiing, hunting, and fishing in and around Pagosa and the Southwest. His friends and family have many memories of time spent with him in the mountains and the canyons usually accompanied by his famous words, “Another awesome day in paradise.”
Jerry was defined by many things including his family, his love for the outdoors, his storytelling, his humor, his generosity, but especially he was known as a Christian. He lived his life as a testimony to others of a man trying to walk in the footsteps of Christ. Jerry loved his three girls immensely and it was his joy to see them become the individuals God created them to become.
He did not let his terminal cancer diagnosis stop him from enjoying life to the fullest and continued to do what he loved even while sick, including a three-week raft trip on the Grand Canyon, working as a fishing guide in Alaska for five weeks, helping his daughters with house projects and countless other activities. Even in the final days of his life, he joked to his family “are we having fun yet?” a phrase he often used.
He died at peace after living with cancer for over eight years in the log house he built with his loving wife at his side. He will be dearly missed by his family and friends, but he will continue to survive in the adventures and stories we all remember. His faith remained strong until the end and he did not waver in his trust in God’s timing.
Jerry is survived by his wife, Joan, his daughter and son-in-law, Marrie and Michael Hibbard, his daughter and son-in-law Molly and Barry Wallace, his grandchildren Makenzie and Connor Wallace, and his daughter and son-in-law, Heidi and Jon Busch. He is also survived by his father, Gerald Driesens, his sister and brother-in-law Janet and David Stravers, and his sister and brother-in-law, Mary and John Brush. He was preceded in death my his mother, Ruth Driesens.
A celebration of Jerry’s life will be held October 30 at 3 p.m. at Centerpoint Church in Pagosa Springs.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Mission India c/o Dave Stravers, P.O. Box 141312, Grand Rapids, MI 49502, or Marcio Garcia with EMAF Missions in Brazil c/o Centerpoint Church, 2750 Cornerstone Drive, Pagosa Springs, CO 81147.