Captain Paul Nicholas Drinkard Sr. (42) of Paola, Kansas, died February 16, 2021. He was born October 4, 1978 in Kansas City, MO.
Paul attended Mid America Nazarene University and was currently working on his masters of Fire Science from Oklahoma State University. His career as a fire fighter started at Fire District #1 Johnson County, KS, he then served at Northwest Consolidated Fire District, followed by the City of Merriam, City of Paola and City of Overland Park Fire Departments, and Captain Drinkard proudly finished his career at the City of Olathe Fire Department (which was his lifelong dream).
He was a multiple recipient of the Medal of Valor from various departments throughout his career. In 2003, he was the Firefighter of the Year in the City of Merriam. In 2019, he achieved rank of Captain. While Paul achieved countless honors over his lifetime his proudest achievement was being a father to Brooklyn and Paul Jr.
He was married to his junior high sweetheart Erica. He is survived by his children Brooklyn and Paul Jr. His parents Colleen (Geraghty) and Charles W. Drinkard III. His siblings Chad, Molly, Casey (Brittany), Maureen (Kyle) Mitchell, Paddy(Lacey), and Ross. His in-laws Peggy and Les Eidson, sisters in-law Jessica (Jeff) Tankersley, Angela (Brian) Knapp, and Emily (Brad) Gribble. He was the uncle of Gracie, Emma, Charlie, Chase, Brennan, Mia, Rylan, Frank, Maeve, Lilly, Eleanor, Kylee, Rachel, Kate, Zoey, Everett, and Lachlan. He was proceeded in death by his grandparents, Dolly and Paul Geraghty Jr. and Rose and Charles W. Drinkard Jr.
The brotherhood he shared with firefighters locally and across the nation meant the world to him, especially his crew from Olathe Truck 2. Paul is a servant, a savior, a hero, a survivor, and a mentor. Paul is the rock of the family, he keeps us together, and is his sibling’s idol. He strove to make his family and his parents proud.
His nieces and nephews describe him perfectly, he is honorable, good looking, successful and puts out fires. His family thinks of him as funny, smart, caring, everything, admirable, kind hearted, a smart aleck, compassionate, welcoming, special, irreplaceable, darling, loving, and friend.
Paul never met a stranger. If you spent 2 minutes with him you were his best friend. He enjoyed a cold Busch Light, Royals and Chiefs games, Eric Church and was a member of the Church Choir, fishing and tossing the football with Paul Jr, he was his children’s number one fan and would even show up at their games in the fire truck when he was on duty. He had a contagious laugh and smile. He was easy to love. Job well done Paul, you made it to the top floor.
A visitation will be held February 23 from 5-8 p.m. at Life Mission Church 16111 S. Lone Elm Rd. Olathe, KS. A private service and burial will be held on February 24 at 10 a.m. at the church for family and the Paola and Olathe fire Family, active and retired. Followed by a Celebration of Life for all those who loved Paul at 3:30 Papa C’s 807 S. Silver St. Paola, KS.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Olathe Explorers Post 2884, 1225 South Hamilton Circle, Olathe Kansas 66061 or contributions to Brooklyn and Paul Jr.’s scholarship fund. Donations can be made at https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=WZ9FB6QLXSZLL