November 23, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
43°F
test

‘Music man’ Paul Driscol Jr. succumbs to cancer

Paul Driscol Jr.

Paul Driscol Jr.

LORAIN — To Lorain County he was a staple — bringing in and supporting a love of music in the community — but to his family, Paul Driscol Jr. was much more.

Driscol, 80, a native Lorain resident and longtime president of the Driscol Music Company in Lorain, died Saturday evening after a battle with cancer at his home in Lorain.

“He’s got a lot of friends here,” Driscol’s daughter, Nancy Cornwell said, describing her father as a peaceful man “with grace and dignity and a positive attitude.”

Part of Driscol’s wealth of friendships was borne out of his connection to a popular music store in Lorain that he and his brother ran for more than 50 years.

Driscol’s father, Paul Driscol Sr., opened up Driscol Music Company in 1941 in Lorain. Only a few years later, after Paul Driscol Jr. had graduated from DePauw University and served as a 1st lieutenant in the Air Force, he and his brother Ted took over their father’s business in 1958.

They ran the business, which had locations in Elyria and Lorain, for years until they sold it in the 1990s.

Though he never played an instrument himself, Cornwell said her father was a big lover of music, who could often be found playing jazz music loudly throughout her childhood home in Lorain.

“I was a teenager, and I had to tell him to turn it down,” Cornwell said.

It was that love of music and Driscol’s position as president of the company that made Driscol and his brother well-known figures in the county. Even after the business was sold, the brothers continued to promote a love for music. A program that they started in the 1990s with Project Joy, which provided elementary school students with instruments their families otherwise couldn’t afford, continued after the brothers sold the business.

Despite being retired for years, Driscol was still recognized by community members including hospice nurses who have visited him in the past few weeks.

“They said ‘Isn’t he the music man?’” Cornwell said.

Though Driscol has a long history with music in Lorain County, Cornwell said she remembers her father primarily as a caring grandfather who would dress up in costumes and put on puppet shows to amuse his six grandkids.

“A hands-on grandfather, for sure,” Cornwell said.

Kay Driscol, who remembers her husband as a “positive person,” said he was a “wonderful husband” for the 57 years they were married.

“He was the love of her life,” Cornwell said.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.