The sound of John Deere tractors and tunes such as “Pickup Man” and “John Deere Green” were all part of a special processionorganized by a Nolensville neighborhood Monday evening to remember country star Joe Diffie.
On Sunday, Diffie died at the age of 61 due to complications related to COVID-19.
In support of Diffie’s family, the Summerlyn neighborhood, where the family resides, planned the special drive-by procession with hundreds of cars, first responders and tractors participating.
A majority of attendees wore green in honor of Diffie’s hit song, “John Deere Green.” A mobile projector along the route showcased many family photos of Diffie.
Event organizers encouraged everyone involved to practice social distancing.
Among the hundreds of attendees was Nolensville resident Lisa Garramone, who lives next door to the Diffie family.
“Since the family can’t really do a normal memorial service and funeral right now with the restrictions, we thought this would be a neat way for folks that loved his music and loved him,” she said. “We wanted to show his wife and family that we were thinking about him. We thought this was a good way to do it and keep everybody safe.”
Garramone has gotten to know the family over the past two years. When she received the news of Diffie’s passing, like many, it came as a shock.
“I’m really close to both of them, so when I got the news I was actually driving in the car, so I pulled over,” she said. “I was really shocked, because we fully expected him to recover.
“He’s such a neat person. It’s really hard to believe he’s gone.”