Darel Decounter

Born on December 21, 1956

Departed on May 1, 2009 and resided in White House, TN

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He is survived by his loving wife of 21 years, Cate Corzatt-Decounter; brother Grover Decounter (Mary Jo); sisters, Connie Decounter, Cathy Sanzoterra, and Dixie Widner(Red); and numerous nieces and nephews. Darel was raised in Good Hope, IL. He moved to Nashville 20 years ago to pursue his career in music. He played keyboard, and was a backup vocalist for The John Anderson Band for 16 years, and played for multiple bands prior to that. Visitation will be at Cole & Garrett Funeral Home, White House Monday from 4-8 pm, and where funeral Services will be held Tuesday May 5, at 1 pm. Interment to follow at White House Memorial Gardens. The John Anderson Band will serve as pallbearers.

61 Comments to Darel Decounter

  1. Eva Prince Johnson
    December 11, 2011 12:00 am

    I had the honor of meeting the DeCounter’s when I was 19 years old. Kate helped me get my first “real” job and they were both mentors to me. The nicest people in the world and I lost touch with them over the years. I have searched for them awhile back and found an email for Darel and he responded but then I moved again and have recently been searching for them thru the internet since being back in Tennessee. I was sad that this was what I found first and had to learn of Darel’s passing two years ago. I love you Kate!! I loved you Darel! I’m sorry I didn’t keep in touch like I should have. You both will always have a special place in my heart!!

  2. Connie DeCounter
    July 11, 2010 12:00 am

    I still miss my little “bro” and think of him every day. No one could ask for a kinder and more loving sibling. Mom and Dad were so proud as we all were.
    In my heart always,

  3. Dale Standard
    November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    Immensely sorry I did not learn of this until today…12-27-10. I was trying to locate Darel to get some advice on starting something up similar to what he was doing….sort of adding percussion/drums to soloists/groups from the local area. I googled Darel and the first thing I saw was a link to his obituary. Shock doesn’t begin to describe the emotions.

    I remember Darel being in a constant good humor and a great talent. I have many happy memories of us practicing in that old shed in the middle of nowhere and going to gigs in Quincy…Bushnell…WIU… That old band truck.. being introduced to Tommy and John (The John Anderson Band) being treated as an equal. Thankfully and luckily, I still have a couple of tapes of The DeCounter Brothers Band and also Happy Train. When I sent him a CD of the Happy Train band, he called me up and seemed genuinely amazed and surprised to hear anything from that band. That band would have been around 1975….35 years ago!!!.

    I know this is more than a year and a half later…but I only found out about it today. My sincerest and heartful sympathies.

    Dale Standard

  4. James Spurlock
    November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    I grew up in Good Hope with Darel we were only three months different in age although in different classes. I have so many good memories of Darel, I remember the day he purchased his first electric keyboard, I remember being best of buds on the CB radio and talking to all hours of the night, I remember his go kart with a chain saw engine, I remember buying Schwinn bikes at the same time, he had a Orange Crate and I bought a Apple Crate. The memories just go on and on, those were the good old times!

    With my living and traveling all around the world I lost track of Darel and his family. It was not until after his passing did I know that many of my favorite songs that I listened to so many times were his songs.

    Tonight I am setting in a hotel room in Nashville and found this web site. It sure is good to see that Darel took life by the hornes and rode it so well. James Dean once said: Dream as if you’ll live forever. Live as if you’ll die today. I am proud that I had the chance to spend time with someone in my life who did just that! God Bless

  5. Sharon Maxwell Rekward
    November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    I grew up in Good Hope, IL. until my 8th grade graduation. Darel’s mother taught kindergarten. I remember Darel & I would sing songs together instead of taking a nap. I dearly loved his mother & father, what beautiful caring people. They would always take the time to visit my sister (Carol) & I when going to their store (mostly for candy). Darel & Grover always treated my sister & myself with respect and never ever made fun of us like the others did. Cate, you & your family have my sympathy . What a wonderful day it will be when you will see Darel again in heaven . My prayers are with you
    God Bless Sharon Maxwell Rekward (Idaho)

  6. Sheryl Evans Mack
    November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    Cate, Grover, Mary Jo and all of Darel’s loved ones,
    I am so sad to hear of Darel’s passing. Although we weren’t close (he was a couple of years younger than me), I have and will always remember him as a quiet, sweet, blond-headed boy I grew up with in Good Hope. He always had a smile on his face and the time to sit and talk with you.

    Several of the DeCounters are stored with fond memories of my childhood. Ester taught kindergarted to my Dad and Me. I can still recall our kindergarten graduation. She also taught me piano for several years after school – for 50 cents a lession. I remember also, riding my bike to Maurice’s store on the corner uptown Good Hope to buy some candy or drool over some sort of trinket in his display cases. My Grandma Evans took me to an Eastern Star meeting a few times in what seemed like a huge room over his store. I knew Grover somewhat since he was a couple of years older then me. Memories of his long hair, his Judge, going to danIces that his band was playing at, marrying Mary Jo, a fellow classmante, are vivid in my mind. Although I wasn’t close to any of them, they each have had a longlasting impact to me – fond memories of a small town girl.

    After I was married, I also remember my parents cutting out an article from the Macomb Daily Journal to send me about Darel playing in some famous country singer’s band. Wow, I remember thinking he made the big time.

    Cate and all, my prayers are with you knowing you are still grieving, but I’m sure you have found comfort knowing that Darel is making music for our Lord in heaven.
    Sheryl Evans Mack

  7. Melissa A. Penn
    November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    I miss you Darel….

  8. Joe Stewart
    November 30, -0001 12:00 am


    Its the little things that we miss when we lose a loved one. What seemed to be a simple phone call or conversation, suddenly becomes so important. Only with that person can you share that thought or a memory of a specific moment in both of your lives. For Darel, I know he would be touched that so many people like me have warm pleant, thoughts and memories of the life he shared with all of us. And yes, I was there when he played the end of Sweet Home Alabama to a T.

  9. Nick & Katie Crowe
    November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    Dear Cate,
    As you know, Darel’s passing left us shocked & saddened. He was a magnificent musician & a kind & generous man. His support & advice have been invaluable & we will certainly miss him. We once told him he was “the best friend we’ve never met.”
    The opportunity to speak to you & get to know more about you & Darel has meant a great deal to both of us. We look forward to the day when we can finally get together. Our thoughts & prayers are always with you.

    Nick & Katie

  10. Darlene
    November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    Kate, We love you and we are here always.
    Joe and Darlene

  11. Dan Willis
    August 9, 2007 12:00 am

    I wrote yesterday of a song Darel and I co-wrote. I was mistaken when I listed the artists that recorded that song, I was thinking of a different song. The song that Darel and I wrote was to my knowledge only recorded by Cristy Lane, Darel, and myself. I will miss you Darel.

  12. Daniel Willis
    August 9, 2007 12:00 am

    I worked with David. I was opening Cristy Lane’s show and David was playing keyboards. After a show one night we got back on the bus and went to our respective bunks
    At about 3 am I got up to relieve myself…David was up in the foyer of the bus. We watched his recordings of the the ” Andy Griffith” show till 5 am
    We then stopped at a truck stop at |….went back to the bus and co-wrote “M
    aking up for Lost Time” with which we had a Cristy lane cut and a Tony Bennett and Englebert Humperdinck cut. What a talent. I’ll miss you Daryl


  13. Gail (Baker) Young
    November 30, -0001 12:00 am

    I remember Darel singing to Kate at their wedding and thinking that she had indeed found her soulmate. Through professional ups and downs, through health issues, and through separation when he was on the road, one thing remained constant: the love, respect, and true admiration each had for each other. These are the things that last, even beyond death. May God hold you in His hands and keep you safe until you are together again.

  14. Melissa A. Penn
    April 9, 2006 12:00 am

    For my big teddy bear…and my best friend, Kate….I will love you both always~

  15. wayne
    March 9, 2006 12:00 am

    HEY AUNTIE KATE, I just wanted to tell you that I am thinking of you every day. I am sure Darel is doing the same. Although I only met him a few times it was very evident how wonderful of a person he was and how much he loved you. Hold on to that because you are part of his legacy. We will see you soon, and know that I do annoy Samantha as much as I can. You are next….Love you lots,


  16. samantha Link
    March 9, 2006 12:00 am

    Aunt Kate, I love you so much. I’m so sorry about Uncle Darel, such a good person like you does not deserve this. You have always been there for me with my hard times and I just want you to know that I am here for you all the way. I love you guys both and always will. I really enjoyed going to the concerts and was always shocked of how wonderful he could play the piano I will always hear him playing. I can’t wait to see you soon, we are going to have a lot of fun! Hopefully Wayne or Stephen wont drive you crazy like they do me 🙂
    I love you <333

  17. Margie and Wayne Smith family
    March 9, 2006 12:00 am

    Kate, we think of you and pray for your strength during this horrible time. You know we will always be there day or night. We love you and Darel. God be with you and continue to keep your faith strong.

  18. vickie goolsby
    February 9, 2006 12:00 am

    Cate may God keep you strong in your time of sorrow.Please know I will always be there for you

  19. Diane Herche
    December 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Cate, my Dad (Dean Hansen, lives down the road from Grover and Mary Jo)called me tonight to tell me about Darel. I am in shock. I just talked with him before Easter and he was so upbeat and sounded like things were moving in the right direction. I was a freshman when he was a senior. Played in band, jazz band and “swing choir” together. He was such a sweet man, so gentle and caring. He will be missed.

  20. Greg Wisslead
    July 9, 2005 12:00 am

    To the Decounter family We are so sorry for your loss I thought of Darel as a good freind though out all our years of schoolhe he will be missed

  21. Rochelle Hendricks
    July 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Cate, I am so sorry for your loss. I will be praying for you. Rochelle

  22. Rosann(Feikert) Shutwell
    June 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Decounter family,especially Kate; I was friends with Darel in High School moving there in the 11th grade. An Army Brat,and didn’t make friends easily. Darel was always a good friend and has kept in touch all these years. I knew how fortunate he felt to have you and his music and God. I send my prayers to all of you at this time of sorrow. He is with the lord now and will always be looking out for you. Always Rosann

  23. Debbie Roach
    June 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Dear Cate,
    You have been in my thoughts so often this week. I’m so sorry for your loss of Darel. I’ve imagined what he was like – and maybe sometime you can tell me all about him. I know that if you loved him, he must have been a great guy!
    I will continue to think of you and ask God to strengthen you in the coming days.
    love, Debbie

  24. Lisa Donaldson
    June 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Cate, I am so sorry to hear about this. You had such a special relationship! My thoughts & prayers are with you, and just know I am here for you.

  25. Tom Durso
    May 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Cate, Grover, and family, so sorry to hear about Darel. Our prayers go out to you. Darel is now playing piano in God’s band.
    Tom and Lynn Durso
    Macomb, IL

  26. Stephanie Woodall
    May 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Oh Sweetie I wish I could be there to hug and comfort you. I called and Vicky answered your cell. I love you and want you to txt me or call and leave me a message on 615 738-6047. I’m so sorry for this loss.

  27. Laura (Syfert) Melvin
    May 9, 2005 12:00 am

    I’m so sorry to hear of Darel’s passing but what a wonderful man he was while he was here. I knew him best from school(NHS) and was always impressed with his gentle spririt. May your memories of his talented life bring you comfort. God bless. Laura

  28. Bill & Katie Slayton
    May 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with family and friends as you gather to remember and honor Darel’s life. He was a free spirit and a man of special talents. Darel heard the beat of a different drummer long before most of us knew that there was music. God bless him and all who love him.

  29. Kim Evans
    May 9, 2005 12:00 am

    My deepest sympathies to Darel’s extended family. I was in band with Darel and always admired his talent and friendliness. He will be missed.

  30. Kay
    May 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Dear Cathy, I heard from your Aunt Angela of your loss of Darel and I was so sorry to hear. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers and just know God is there to see you thru this. Take care. God Bless. Love, Kay (Dillard)Griepentrog

  31. Cynthia Bess
    May 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Cate, I am so sorry to hear of your loss.You and your family are in my prayers.

  32. Doug Sisemore
    May 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Decounter family: I met and became friends with Daryl on the “road” somewhere many years ago. He was such a nice guy and great musician. We would see each other from time to time, once again on the road! He also kept in touch by phone as well and it was always nice to chat about gear, keyboards and “geek” out and catch up with our music biz lives. I am so sorry for your loss. I know he will be missed. May God keep him safe. Doug Sisemore

  33. Wanda Elwell
    May 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Kate, I’m so sorry for your loss. I know that Darel was your soul mate. My prayers
    are with you.

  34. Vicki (Klossing) and Mike Bredar
    May 9, 2005 12:00 am


    We are so sorry for your loss. The times we we spent around Darel he was always a kind and gracious host. It does not seem that long ago Darel brought Mike and I on stage to sit behind him at a John Anderson concert in Muscatine, Iowa. Even though he was busy with his job he took the time to entertain us and our friends “back stage” the whole night. It was obvious to us how much he loved playing music but more importantly he was also a very kind and considerate person. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you. Take care of yourself, we will talk soon, Love Vicki (Klossing)Bredar

  35. Ric and Diane Rouse
    May 9, 2005 12:00 am

    We are so sorry to hear of your loss. Ric went through school with Grover and was friends and a neighbor to the DeCounter family,in Good Hope. May God give the family comfort and Blessings.

  36. Steven Britton
    May 9, 2005 12:00 am

    My condolences to Darel’s family and friends. Was deeply saddened to hear of his passing. I was a classmate at N.H.S. class of ’75.

  37. Marilyn Fitch
    May 9, 2005 12:00 am

    May God comfort you in this difficult time. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.


  38. Jim and Sue (Rouse) Holloway
    May 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Connie and Cathy -I am sure you are all heart-broken with the loss of Darel. If I had known before 630pm tonight, I would have been there. Just know our prayers and thoughts will be with you. We will add Cate and all of you to our email prayer net. Please know that God is there with you and will carry you ALL THROUGH THIS. We have been facing some real health struggles with my brother Ric and the Lord has shared all of our burdens. He continues to do so daily. If there is any way we can help please let us know. Connie -I really miss seeing you-lots of wonderful memories with you and your family in our younger years. Love Sue and Jim

  39. Kris & Cathy Lescher
    May 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Cate and family,
    Kris and I are devastated and share your grief with the untimely loss of Darel. His talent will be greatly missed as Kris had played with him many times in Illinois. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this very trying time.

  40. Dee Lankford
    April 9, 2005 12:00 am

    I am so sorry to hear about your husband. I recall how your eyes always lit up when you would talk about him. I am sorry I did not get to meet him but know he had to be a very special person for you to have married him. You are in my thoughts and prayers.


  41. Theron&Jacqui Oliver
    April 9, 2005 12:00 am

    We will keep you and your family in our prayers and as always let us know if you need anything

  42. Gayle Escamilla
    April 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Cate, so sorry about your husband. You and yours are in my thoughts and prayers.

  43. Dana {Hudson) Yocum
    April 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Grover, Cate, Mary Jo and all other family
    Words just can’t express my sorrow for all of you. It has been so long since I have seen Darel, but the memories of 12 years together in school are flashing back like they are yesterday. I walked down the aisle with him at Kindergarten Graduation and again at High School graduation and all the memories in between are so precious now as always. Please know that you all are in my thoughts and prayers, and a wonderful man will be missed. Love Dana

  44. Eddie Heinzelman
    April 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Cate, my sincerest condolences and know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Darel recorded a couple demos for me over the years and just sent me an email Friday morning at | am with the most recent one he finished for me. He was always very supportive and I appreciated his friendship and musical kinship we shared.

  45. Mary Gentili
    April 9, 2005 12:00 am


    I did not have the pleasure of meeting your husband, but from the things you said about him I know that you love him deeply. Nothing I write here or say to you personally can help right now, but please know that you are loved. I pray that God will surround you and your family with His love and peace.

  46. Ann Abbot
    April 9, 2005 12:00 am

    My heart felt sympathy to you and the DeCounter family. I have very many fond memories of Darel. What a wonderful talented person and a great friend. May God comfort you in the many days ahead.

  47. Ron and Dorothy Curtis
    April 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Dear Cate,
    Our sincere sympathy to you and the DeCounter family. Darel was a student when I taught at Northwestern High School several years ago. He was a good student with a friendly and positive attitude. Darel called us ten years ago when he heard our seventeen year old son was killed. He had heard that Stuart was muscial and wondered if there was anything he could do to help. He then helped us copyright the songs Stuart had written. Darel’s compassion was greatly appreciated. May God give you comfort with wonderful memories. Dorothy and Ron Curtis

  48. Mel;inda Williams
    April 9, 2005 12:00 am

    I am so sorry to hear about your brother. I just heard about it today on Monday. I wanted to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.
    My condolences,

  49. Reba Hogan
    April 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Cate, you and yours, will be in my prayers this sad day. Darel, had the talent to turn a simple guitar and vocal into something anyone would be proud to say they wrote. He made many demos for me. I would have to pull each one out and count them, because, I lost track. He will be missed as a person and as a great talent.

    My prayers are with you and yours.

    Reba Hogan

  50. Janet Townes
    April 9, 2005 12:00 am

    So sorry for your tremendous loss. Although I never got to meet Darel,I know he had to be so special like you. You are in my thoughts & prayers at this sad time. Love to you, Janet Townes

  51. Judy Johnson
    April 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Cate, I am so sorry for your loss. I will see you this evening. I have been praying for you and your friends and family since I heard about Darel. I pray now that you are wrapped in Peace and Love. Judy

  52. Connie Bell Price
    April 9, 2005 12:00 am

    My heart goes out to you in the sudden loss of Daryl. Please know I’m praying for you and your family. My own sweet husband, Bob, passed away 11 mos. ago. Please take hope and comfort from your God and your friends, and family. When you are ready, visit Griefshare at http://www.griefshare.com. I have found so much help and comfort there. I’m Kathy Rieuf’s sister, and I’m praying for you.-Connie Price

  53. Brad
    April 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Cate: I was saddened to hear of Darel’s passing. I believe I had the opportunity to meet you on one of Darel’s visits back to the Good Hope area several years ago and I have enjoyed watching for Darel on the music scene for many years. We started school together in Good Hope where his mom was our kindergarten teacher and were friends all the way through high school graduation. My sympathy to you during this difficult time. Brad Bainter

  54. Kevin "Krobar" Anderson
    April 9, 2005 12:00 am

    For many years I have known Darel, I worked with him in Bands before he moved to Nashville and recently opened for John Anderson in Milwaukee, WI. We are very sadened by his passing and our thoughts and prayers are with Cate and his family. He will be missed greatly.

  55. Josiah Blount (Son of A Muse)
    April 9, 2005 12:00 am

    I met Darel a few years ago when I was visiting Nashville. Within seconds we struck up a friendly conversation and it felt like we had known each other for a long time. This was easy with him, because he was kind, gentle, sincere, and of course talented. Most of all, he was passionate about his work and relationships.

    It was truly evident Darel really cared about his clients, and it was a pleasure to be able to introduce him to a number of them who he knew, but had not met. Like the giving man he was, he sent me some gifts soon afterwards, as a gesture of his gratitude. I enjoyed my conversations and contact with Daryl, and offer my sincerest condolences to his family and close friends–which I am sure are many.

  56. Rich Pirone
    April 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Please accept my sincerest condolences. Darel was responsible for helping me realize my dreams with his work on my music. He was always very generous with his time and counsel and I will miss him dearly.

  57. Bill Anderson and The Po Folks Band
    April 9, 2005 12:00 am

    We have many fond memories of Darel. As we are on a tour of Canada at the moment and can’t be there to express our sympathy in person, we want Cate and Darel’s family to know that our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  58. Nan Cassidy
    March 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Darel was a true friend and business partner. He provided the Demos for our Tunesmith Song Challenge winners and had just completed the song “Say When”
    My prayers go out to his wonderful friends and family.
    God Bless,
    Nan Cassidy

  59. Duane & Kaye Mowen
    March 9, 2005 12:00 am

    You are in our prayers. Darel has a special place in our hearts. We Love You!!

  60. Mick and Kathy Harper Waters
    March 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the DeCounter families.

  61. The Sam Spring Family
    March 9, 2005 12:00 am

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time.

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