Willard L. Driesel, Jr., 58, of the Hochatown Community, passed away December 29, 2011 in Tyler, TX. He was born December 7, 1953 in Ponca City. He had lived in McCurtain County since 1986. He was an active member of Faith Christian Center for 12 years and had a great love for the Lord and was proud to share that love and faith with others. Willard was an avid hunter and fisherman. Willard was District Judge for 17 years in McCurtain, Pushmataha and Choctaw Counties. His background includes 11 years in law enforcement. He was a police officer in Oklahoma City. He prosecuted drug cases in this district, and was Oklahoma’s Drug Prosecutor of the Year, all before becoming a judge. He was also a State Certified Instructor for law enforcement officers in Oklahoma. He has been a lawyer for 26 years. In his 17 years as District Judge, he has presided over 103 jury trials in 8 different counties. He has presided over 34 murder trials, including death penalty cases. Out of the 103 jury trials, only 2 cases have been reversed to correct a mistake. Out of the several hundred written opinions, only 1 was reversed. This means that the Oklahoma Supreme Court and the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals determined that his legal decisions were correct and his trials were conducted fairly in nearly 100% of the cases. He also presided over the 2 largest civil cases in the history of McCurtain County. Four years ago he was selected “presiding judge” to supervise all state courts in the 9 counties that make up S.E.Oklahoma. He was the first judge from this district to ever be selected for that position. Only 9 judges statewide, out of 277, are given this honor. Three years ago he was appointed by the Secretary of State to serve on the Trial Court on the Judiciary. He was the first judge from this district to ever be selected for this position. Only 8 judges statewide, out of 277, are given this honor. He established the first Drug Court in S.E. Oklahoma, which has been considered one of the best in the state. The McCurtain County Drug Court has been used as a model by other counties and judges who have established drug courts. Drug Court has helped many people become drug free, employed, productive members of our community. It has helped them further their education, become reunited with their children and restore family relationships. For these reasons, Willard was very proud of the role he played in getting this program established in this area. He was preceded in death by his father, Willard L. Driesel, Sr. and a sister, Sue Thompson. He leaves to cherish his memory his mother, Lois Driesel of Broken Bow, his son, Bryan Driesel of Broken Bow, his daughter, Chris Jordan and son-in-law, Daniel Jordan, of Broken Bow; grandchildren, Dawson, Dillon and Drew Jordan, all of Broken Bow; and a host of many dear friends and colleagues. At his request, he was cremated and a memorial service took place on Monday, January 2, 2012 at 3:00 pm at the First Assembly of God Church on S. Park Drive in Broken Bow. Brother Chuck Darby was among those officiating at the service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Willard Driesel Scholorship Fund in care of Idabel National Bank. Online condolences may be sent to www.bunchsingleton.com .
Funeral services conducted by Bunch-Singleton Funeral Home of Broken Bow