Paul Nicholas Drinkard

October 4, 1978February 16, 2021

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 proudestR 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 5-8pm at Life Mission Church 16111 S. Lone Elm Rd. Olathe, KS. A private service and burial will be held on February 24 at 10am 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


  • Erica Drinkard, Wife
  • Brooklyn Drinkard, Daughter
  • Paul Jr. Drinkard, Son
  • Colleen Drinkard, Mother
  • Charles W. Drinkard, Father
  • Chad Drinkard, Brother
  • Molly Brown, Sister
  • Casey Drinkard (Brittany), Brother
  • Maureen Mitchell (Kyle), Sister
  • Paddy (Lacey), Brother
  • Ross, Brother
  • Peggy Eidson, Mother-in-law
  • Les Eidson, Father-in-law
  • Jessica Tankersly (Jeff), Sister-in-law
  • Angela Knapp (Brian), Sister-in-law
  • Emily Gribble (Brad), Sister-in-law
  • Gracie, Niece
  • Emma, Niece
  • Charlie, Nephew
  • Chase, Nephew
  • Brennan, Nephew
  • Mia, Niece
  • Rylan, Nephew
  • Frank, Nephew
  • Maeve, Niece
  • Lilly, Niece
  • Eleanor, Niece
  • Kylee, Niece
  • Rachel, Niece
  • Kate, Niece
  • Zoey, Niece
  • Everett, Nephew
  • Lachlan, Nephew
  • Dolly Geraghty, Grandmother (deceased)
  • Paul Geraghty Jr., Grandfather (deceased)
  • Rose Drinkard, Grandmother (deceased)
  • Charles W. Drinkard, Grandfather (deceased)

  • Casey Drinkard, Pallbearer
  • Patrick Drinkard , Pallbearer
  • Ross Drinkard, Pallbearer
  • Charles Drinkard IV, Pallbearer
  • Theodore Dujakovich, Pallbearer
  • Ryan North, Pallbearer
  • Kyle Mitchell, Pallbearer
  • Stephen Miller, Pallbearer
  • Jake Wood, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Justin Turner, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Blake Richardson, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Eric Barnum, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Jason Seipel, Honorary Pallbearer

  • Olathe Explorers Post 2884
  • Brooklyn and Paul Jr.’s scholarship fund


  • Visitation

    Tuesday, February 23, 2021

  • Funeral Service

    Wednesday, February 24, 2021



Paul Nicholas Drinkard

have a memory or condolence to add?

Lisa Parker

February 24, 2021

My dear sister firefighter wife, Erica.
I only met Paul a few times at OFD Station2... my husband is Matt Parker, the driver on A shift... we wanted to share and extend our love and prayers for your loss and for your beautiful family. It came to me while I was praying the day after news that Paul had left to meet our Maker, and 1 single large snowflake floated down from the sky and landed on my heart...immediately came to me was that it was well with HIS soul! This hymn has been on my heart ever since!
You, Brooklyn, and Paul Jr. will continuously be in our prayers, as we are family. With Love, The Parker family

Linda Konecne 32

February 23, 2021

Our thoughts and prayers are with you

Andy and Deet Carden

February 23, 2021

To the entire Drinkard family. Andy and I were so sorry to hear of your loss. We pray that God embraces you all during this most difficult time and that He heals your heart from such a tremendous loss. There are no words that could possibly comfort you at this time. Please know you are all in our thoughts and prayers.

God Bless you.

Andy and Deet Carden

Harlan Parker

February 23, 2021

Erica, Brooklyn and Paul Jr.
Words can never heal your broken hearts I just want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family as you endure this personal loss of our hero Paul Sr. Paul was a true hero, the epitome of dedicated and selfless First Responder. Paul was true professional. My prayer will be that the comfort of friends and family will give you courage for the coming days. May you share in Paul's courage to face the days to come.

Carol Smith

February 22, 2021

Chuck, Colleen and family,
My deepest sympathy to all of the family. Know you are all in my prayers for comfort and peace during this very difficult time. Paul will forever be with you during the hard times and during the good times he will be there. Treasure the your memories and hold each other tight.
Carol Wessling Smith

Mary Shanahan

February 22, 2021

Erica, please know that the Shanahan family send their deepest condolences and our tears are shared with you. Also, know that we love you and the kids deeply.

Mary Shanahan

February 22, 2021

When Paul and Erica got married and were on their way back from their honeymoon, that's when 9/11 hit. They landed in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida and we lived in Chattanooga, TN. I was working at UNUM, and Paul and Erica came to our house in a 27' U-Haul truck because there were no cars available due to all air flights being cancelled. They stayed with us for a day or two and I was able to get a car for them through my work's travel department. Paul and Erica told me later that was a really nice car, a Chevy Impala, and they traveled "in-style" back to Kansas City.

Heidi Harmon-Grove

February 22, 2021

I had the luxury of meeting and working with Paul on many charity events we held in honor of my son. "Firehouse Poker Tournament ". Our committee was mainly family members, but Paul wanted to help. He immediately became actively involved and helped us raise a lot of money. I was always in awe of him because he obviously had his heart in it and helped so much. RIP Paul and so many prayers for your family. You were one of a kind. ♥️

Michael Grove

February 22, 2021

Unfortunately I never had the opportunity of working with Paul as a family member on our shift. He was the type of person that everyone wanted as a shift member including myself.
His smile and positive attitude was a given and his mere presence was a bright spot in our, sometimes hectic day.
It goes without saying that he will truly be missed by all.

Pam Rader

February 21, 2021

Best neighbor I could have ever asked for. The first time I met Paul he wasn’t putting out a fire he was starting one LoL. You will so be missed by all who’s lives you touched.