Cover photo for William Clark Driskell's Obituary
William Clark Driskell Profile Photo
1944 William 2021

William Clark Driskell

September 23, 1944 — February 13, 2021

Bill has died. Everything just quit working. Friends and family have been unable to detect any disturbance in the cosmos as the result of his passing. Likewise, there seems to have been no ethereal disruption as a consequence of his birth on September 23, 1944, in Long Beach, California, the first child of the late Alice and Morgan Driskell. Until the age of thirteen, his peripatetic Navy family traveled hither and thither, finally settling down in St. Petersburg, Florida. He always regarded this as home, although it little resembled a traditional generational one. Nonetheless, he had a wonderful adolescence until he departed St. Petersburg for Atlanta and Emory University in the fall of 1962. He never left and is obviously not going anywhere now.
Emory was a wonderfully eye-opening and life-changing experience for Bill, away from home for the first time. New people and ideas, great conversations and exchanges of thoughts, life possibilities and one great love; altogether a plethora of delights. College in three years, one year of law school (whence he departed amidst joyful faculty celebration), and ultimately graduate school with a master’s degree in history; all at Emory. His fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, and the sweetheart of that fraternity, Mary Logan McMillan, provided a solid basis for life-long joy and stability. Mary in particular, with her kindness, intelligence, endless patience and unerring sense of life’s true purpose, all of which she needed in abundance with Bill as her husband; provided the basis for a wonderful marriage, at least from his perspective.
The master’s degree led to a career in teaching at Lakeside High School in DeKalb County for thirty-five years, from which he retired in 2001. Each day, for the most part, Bill looked forward to the many challenges, triumphs and occasional failures teaching brought. The wonderful teachers he respected and treasured, their insights invaluable daily. But ultimately the students were all: the intellectual pursuits of course and primarily, but also the maturation of their social selves into caring young adults. This growth both as individuals and as threads in the warp and weft of American society made every moment precious and worthwhile. How fortunate can a person be in one lifetime?
Beginning in 2001 and for the next eighteen years, Bill worked in guest services at Emory University Hospital. He tried as best he could to alleviate some of the cares and concerns families and patients themselves brought with them: some frivolous, many mundane, but all very real. He had wonderful coworkers: kind, knowledgeable, joyous and caring. How nice to have been of some use in his
dotage while giving Mary a welcome respite from his constant presence, which now, of course, will be of considerable length.
Finally and certainly most importantly, there is Bill’s family. His sister Jodee and her late husband Scott Dyer have brought such joy and meaning to all whose lives they have touched. Their two wonderful children, Erika and Jeffrey, and the four grandchildren, all in St. Petersburg, Florida; survive and thrive. And ultimately of course son Logan and daughter Mary Margaret, educated and prosperous, who have made outstanding life choices in partners, Betsy and Vinny Ciavatta respectively, and four grandchildren, blessed be procreation. He was enormously sorrowful for others who had not had the presence of Davis and Ellie Driskell, Isaac and Benjamin Ciavatta, in their lives to make just being an unending and wondrous panorama. What a glorious note to end life on.
* The Latin phrase above translates as “See you later, alligator.”

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Friday, February 19, 2021

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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