Cover photo for Dwayne Friend's Obituary
Dwayne Friend Profile Photo
1936 Dwayne 2019

Dwayne Friend

September 16, 1936 — July 17, 2019

Dwayne Grey Friend, son of the late Mont and Ina (Gaddis) Friend, was born September 16, 1936, near Dawson, Missouri, and departed this life July 17, 2019, in Willow Springs, Missouri. He was 82 years, 10 months, and 1 day of age.

Dwayne grew up in the Dawson community and attended school in a one room schoolhouse. He was saved and called to preach at the age of seventeen and remained faithful to his calling in the gospel ministry throughout his life serving as an evangelist and pastor for many years.

In the mid 60’s Dwayne joined the Happy Goodman Family and played guitar for them all across the country. Later, he was with the Blackwood Brothers Quartet. In 1969, Dwayne was the first instrumentalist to win the Dove Award. The following year, 1970, he became the first instrumentalist to win a second Dove Award. That same year he also won a third Dove Award for song of the year, “The Night Before Easter.” With his musical success, Dwayne became known as “Mister Gospel Guitar.”

Later, Dwayne went back to preaching and was the evangelist of the “Area Wide Crusades” along with Harold Friend, David Gourley, and Ray Bradley. They ministered in auditoriums and on 43 television stations across the United States and Canada and witnessed thousands of people receiving the salvation of Jesus Christ.

Dwayne loved playing sports and was a participator, not a spectator. He was a great golfer and baseball player. He loved quail hunting and was a great shot. The guitar was his greatest love secondly only to God and family. If you ever spent any amount of time with Dwayne you definitely would see him with a guitar in his hands at some point. Practicing and playing guitar was simply a huge part of his life to the very end.

Besides his parents, Dwayne was preceded in death by an infant son, Donald Lane Friend, seven brothers, Chelmer, Don, Derrel, Rex, Bythel, Harold, and Gene Friend, and one sister, Melba Hudson.

Dwayne is survived by five sons, Jonathan Dwayne Friend, Zane Friend, and Marty Friend, all of Nashville, Tennessee, Darren Friend of Alton, Missouri, and Dawson Friend of Gardner, Kansas, two daughters, Raini Ward and Sadie Friend, both of Warsaw, Missouri, eleven grandchildren, Shandy, Shay, Ashley, Casey, Zachary Dwayne, Isaac, Erin, Alex, Kendal, Rory Jo, and Jaxton, nine great-grandchildren, one brother, Terry Friend and wife, Joyce of Mountain Grove, Missouri, many nephews and nieces, and a host of relatives and friends who will miss him greatly.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dwayne Friend, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, July 20, 2019

9:00 - 10:00 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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