Dianne Wilkinson, one of Southern Gospel’s favorite songwriters and personalities, has passed away.
From Singing News Vice President, Danny Jones:
“Late yesterday afternoon, I was informed that Dianne Wilkinson was preparing for one final journey. And then I was asked, “what are you going to say when she leaves?”
It’s easy to think of all of her great songs … the conversations at concerts that began with “Hey, Danny boy!” … the hundreds of times I heard her say, “I gotta get in there—my boys are about to sing” (and that list of quartets is loooonnnggg!). Fond, smile-causing memories, no doubt.
But what does one say when one of the greatest songwriters to ever be a part of Gospel music moves on to join her friends who are now in the presence of the Lord? Do you play on the words of one of her songs and instead of saying “We Shall See Jesus” you say “We Have Seen Jesus”? Do you remark that Heaven just got sweeter?” Or, in true Dianne fashion, “Strike Up The Band ‘cause I’m on the way”?
There’s no right or wrong answer, but for me, I think Dianne left us her best advice in a song that, in many ways, pulled all of her other songs to common ground. You see, Dianne encouraged us to do one thing, whether we are singers, songwriters, evangelists, or just someone pushing through the day. In three words, she told us how to live, how to encourage others, and how to fashion our thoughts.
Just Preach Jesus.”
Friends from around the Southern Gospel community have shared posts on Instagram and Facebook.
Rodney Griffin shared the following on Facebook:
“Today I’ll be thinking alot about the legacy of my sweet friend, Dianne Wilkinson, who moved on to heaven last night. Imagine her joy…writing the words, “We shall see Jesus just as He is” so many years ago, and then seeing Him in all His glory and perfection for the first time last night.
She will always be the standard by which songwriters from this era will be measured. She had it all…from inspiration of a song, to completion of it. There is no one else more prolific, even through her golden years. Always celebrating the Lord…and always encouraging the saints, that was Dianne.
And now she’s there.
We will miss you, sweet friend! But, we promise to see you soon!”
Details and arrangement are forthcoming.