‘Voice of Loudoun’ falls silent
Popular former Loudoun radio personality Paul Draisey dies at 55
For a generation, Paul Draisey, 55, of Middleburg, served as an announcer on radio personality for WAGE radio. He died Monday, April 16, leaving the radio waves feeling a little more empty.
Draisey made his first appearance in radio at age 10 at the urging of his half-brother Bill Torrey. He began by reading weather reports at WAGE, Loudoun’s former radio station.
The fledgling reporter was only 18 years-old in 1974 when he arrived first on the scene at the TWA flight 514 crash at Mount Weather. Ninety-two people were killed when the plane that was headed to Washington International Airport hit the Blue Ridge Mountains. It remains the worst aviation accident in Virginia’s history and Draisey worked to file reports back to the radio station from a nearby home’s kitchen table.
A graduate of Loudoun Valley High School and Virginia Commonwealth University, Draisey continued with the station, covering a wide variety of topics ranging from lost and found items to high school sports scores during his long tenure with the station.
Perhaps most memorable was his work on the afternoon shift with “The Drive Home with Paul Draisey,” where his voice became instantly recognizable amongst Loudouners.
Draisey left WAGE in 2007 as the station began downsizing before its closure in 2009. Since that time, he worked in insurance, public relations and devoted himself to volunteer work.
Draisey died at Fairfax Hospital on April 16 of a gunshot wound. An investigation into the incident is ongoing according to Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Liz Mills, but foul play is not suspected.
He is survived by wife Donna and three children, Brad Draisey, Kyle Draisey and Kristen Stennett.
Visitation is planned for Thursday, April 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Royston Funeral Home in Middleburg. Interment is planned for the following day at Middleburg Memorial Cemetary at 1 p.m.
Middleburg Mayor Betsy Davis released the following statement upon hearing of Draisey’s passing, “I am so very sad to hear of the passing of Paul. He was a true friend to me, the town and our community. He will be missed so very much by all of us. Our love and prayers go out to Donna and all of her family.”
Dave Scarangella, another former WAGE employee and close friend of Draisey shared the following thoughts on the Loudoun institution, highlighting his service to the community.
“Paul was the Voice of Loudoun County. He started at WAGE when he was only 14 and spent the next 40 years talking to several generations of people in Loudoun County. When he and I used to broadcast football and basketball on Comcast, I used to needle him that he was like a rock star, because everywhere we’d go in Loudoun, he seemed to know everyone.
“He was a man who cared about Loudoun County and freely devoted his time to a lot of causes, from the USO to the Middleburg Fire Department. He emceed well over a hundred charity events in his lifetime, freely mentored any person who needed help, and seemed to remember ever athlete, coach, politician and businessman he ever met. He was a special person and a great friend.”
“They say that the measure of a man’s success in life is how many friends he makes along the way. In that regard, Paul was the most successful man I ever knew. He will be missed.”