On June 15, Dr. Glenn Wright Draper went home to be with the Savior he had sung about for so many years. He entered the gates of heaven with the full assurance of his salvation.
He was pre-deceased by his father, John Wesley Draper; his mother, Lois Draper; and his brothers, Gene and Doug Draper.
He is survived by his loving wife, Lounelle; his brother, Bill Draper; his sons, Glenn and Dean, his daughter in laws, Ashley Draper and Cindy Draper, along with eight precious grandchildren. He is also survived by the countless lives he influenced during his long and illustrious career as a choral director. He was a mentor, friend, teacher and even a father figure to countless singers he directed for more than half a century.
Dr. Draper was born on July 18, 1928 in Roanoke, Virginia. His love of choral music thrust him into a career that included forming the Keesler Air Force Base Male Chorus, becoming Director of Music at Pheiffer College, the University of Miami, Coral Gables United Methodist Church, UT Chattanooga, the Lake Junaluska Singers, and the Glenn Draper Singers. In 1968 he teamed up with the late Ben Haden at First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga, and soon his music was broadcast all over the world. His accolades are too numerous to mention, but he brought unparalleled passion and energy to everything he endeavored to do.
He set a godly example of how to be a husband and father. His love for his sweet wife Lounelle was on display for everyone to see. They were "a match made in heaven." She grabbed on to his coat tails and he took her on a 63-year adventure that most could only dream about. He was also the best father a son could ever have.
His legacy is the lives he influenced. Countless singers and students credit him for changing the course of their lives. They too, held on for dear life, as he took them all over the world. He loved each of them dearly.
Most importantly, he loved Jesus Christ. He gave his life to Him at a young age and his faith never wavered. He was a man of character, the same in private as he was in public. He shared the gospel message through music, and touched the hearts of thousands. And now he has gathered with the saints at the river that flows by the throne of God, forever praising Him.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, June 22, at 1 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Chattanooga. A reception will follow.
Memorial contributions can be made to First Presbyterian Church World Missions, Changed Lives, The UTC Choral Endowment, and The Lake Junaluska Singers.
Visit www.heritagechattanooga.com to share condolences to the family and to view Dr. Draper’s memorial tribute.
The family will receive friends Friday, June 21, from 4 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Heritage Funeral Home, 7454 E. Brainerd Road.