Legendary Music Composer, 'Pass It On' Writer Kurt Kaiser Dies at 83

Kurt Kaiser
Kurt Kaiser (Kurt Kaiser/Facebook)

Christian composer Kurt Kaiser died on Monday. He was 83.

Kaiser is the writer behind popular hits like "Pass It On" and "Oh How he Loves You and Me," among 300 more.

"We mourn the death of Kurt Kaiser," according to DaySpring Baptist Church, which he helped found. "[Monday] morning, Kurt peacefully passed from this life. Please hold Pat in your prayers, along with their children, grandchildren, their families, and all of Kurt's many friends who will miss him. Kurt was very special to many, many people around the world through his music, and, in personal ways, to those who shared life at DaySpring."

According to the Waco Tribune, Kaiser worked with famed Christian artists for more than 60 years, including Kathleen Battle, Christopher Parkening, George Beverly Shea, Ernie Ford, Jerome Hines, Ethel Waters, Burl Ives, Ken Medema, the duo Hale & Wilder, Joni Eareckson Tada and others.

Kaiser also mentored up-and-coming Christian musicians and composers such as John Purifoy, Don Cason, Mark Hayes, Deborah Harris and Gary Rhodes.

"He was a remarkable combination of musical excellence that could not be challenged, and heart and an ear for what the youth of American churches wanted to say," says Terry York. York is a professor of Christian ministry and church music in Baylor University's Truett Seminary and a longtime member of Dayspring Baptist Church. "Kids would hear a song, have tears in their eyes and then whistle it for the rest of their lives."

Kaiser was born in Chicago in 1934, and moved to Waco, Texas, in 1959 with his wife, Pat.

In 1992, he received a lifetime achievement award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers.

He was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2001.

Baylor awarded him its Pro Ecclesia Medal of Service in 2017.

A service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church of Waco at 500 Webster Avenue.

KWTX reports Kaiser is survived by his wife and four children and their spouses: Kris Kaiser Olson and Charles Olson of Waco; Kelli and Kent Kaiser of Sugar Land; Janet and Craig Kaiser of Houston; and Gail and Tim Kaiser of Coppell. Other survivors include 10 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, sister Sigrid Schultz and brothers Helmuth Kaiser, Martin Kaiser and Gerhard Kaiser.

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