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Gabe Patillo, TobyMac’s Former Hype Man and Son of Gospel Music Association’s President, Loses Battle With Cancer

“[Gabe] has always made my problems our problems, my goals our goals, my calling our calling, therefore any of my accomplishments must be counted as our accomplishments,” McKeehan shared.

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McKeehan also said Patillo had motivated him to “step up” his game regarding his relationship with God.

“I consider myself a bit of a wordsmith but words will never do in this case,” McKeehan said. “We will miss you out here our friend, I will miss you out here my friend…so thank you with all my heart. And you already know, I’ll be calling for your advice again tomorrow…as usual.”

A day after Patillo’s death, McKeehan shared that he wished everyone could have known his best friend.

“I wish everyone could walk with him, get challenged by him, collaborate with him, laugh with him, pray with him, meditate on scripture with him and be loved by him,” McKeehan said. “You would be a better person.”

“His eyes offered love, not the ‘I want you to like me; kind,’ but the ‘I see you’ kind,” he added.

And while McKeehan said that Patillo was one of the best performers he’s ever known, he shared that what he will “treasure for the rest of my life is behind the curtain; on the bus, in the dressing rooms, at rehearsals, and at home.”

“I saw him become a man, a husband and a father that I respect,” McKeehan continued. “A guy that went from being like my lil bro to a man that continues to inspire me in every aspect of my life.”

McKeehan concluded, “What an utter privilege it has been to call him friend.”

The talented Patillo was a husband to his wife, Jenni; a father to Amara, Milo, and Remy; a brother to Marcel; and a son to Jackie.

Over $135,000 has already been raised through a GoFundMe that was set up for the Patillo family to help them with current and future financial needs.