Joseph Dean Gaines, age 74, of Peabody, Kansas passed away on Sunday, March 24, 2019. He was born on October 14, 1944, in Summit Township, the son of Joseph Milton and Ernestina (Weber) Gaines. Joe graduated from Peabody High School with the class of 1962.
On June 11, 1965, he married Mary Beth Scrivner.
A lifelong farmer, J.D. had many interests and enjoyed friendly competition. He played football during high school and was affectionately known as “fireball” for his ability to motivate his teammates. He was a member of the Peabody FFA chapter and was proud to have his picture displayed on the wall of the ag room as a State Degree winner. He also served as a chapter officer.
After graduation he married his high school sweetheart, they began their life together farming and operating a custom wheat harvesting crew that followed the trail of ripening wheat from Texas to Montana. They made their last run in 1983.They enjoyed a diversified farm that included a cow-calf operation, crops as well as a farrow to finish swine operation.
Later in life he enjoyed working for AMPI, picking up milk from area dairies. When the Hillsboro milk plant closed, he began locating underground gas and electric lines. For several years he was the only locator that was damage-free in Kansas, an accomplishment he was particularly proud of.
FFA and 4-H were important organizations to him and he supported his children and later his grandchildren in their activities. Highlights for him included watching Beth and Polly receive their FFA degrees, Polly be selected into the National Choir and all three take on active leadership roles. That support continued to the next generation as he encouraged all of his grandchildren to pursue FFA and 4-H goals, and was pleased when Karl earned is American Farmer degree and Devon and Morgan earn their State degrees and 4-H Key awards.
He loved the opportunity to look at livestock and helping all three children select and show calves, pigs and sheep to exhibit at the county fair and beyond. Some of the best memories included a stock trailer and a roadmap. J.D. had the ability to see future potential where many others could not. Hundreds of friendships were developed over the years with cattlemen around the country. The county fair and state livestock shows were occasions that he looked forward to. In addition to “out-judging” the paid judge, he enjoyed the friendships with families around the ring. Those friendships grew and deepened as the next generation took to the show ring. He enjoyed watching his grandchildren enjoy the experiences of 4-H and FFA events and could be seen perched in his chair or on his scooter watching them parade their projects.
He believed strongly in community involvement and served on the Board of Education for 12 years.
He had the mind of an engineer and delighted in designing and building realistic farm toys for his grandchildren and others. Nothing made him happier to watch the grandchildren “farming” his living room. He also created several copper sculptures featuring wheat, sunflowers, and windmills – iconic Kansas symbols.
When he wasn’t farming or following grandchildren’s activities, JD and Mary Beth enjoyed traveling in their later years and made several road trips to enjoy seeing the mountains and vast farm country of the west. They also made regular trips to take in gospel concerts and festivals. The Gaither Family was one of his all-time-favorite groups.
Survivors include: His wife Mary Beth, children Beth Gaines of Westmoreland, Polly Giebler (Mark) of Wichita and Jarrod Gaines (Jennifer) of rural Newton. Sisters Mary Olson of Peabody and Marjorie Gray of Peabody. Grandchildren Karl Riffel, Kyle Riffel, Kara Riffel, Devon Gaines, Morgan Gaines, Weston Gaines, Elizabeth Giebler, and Robert Giebler and a host of nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Sister Reeta Gillet, and brothers Ron Gaines and Harvey Gaines.
The family will receive friends on Thursday night from 6-8 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Peabody, Kansas. Funeral services will take place on Friday, March 29 at 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Peabody with Rev. Dave Ragland, officiating. Private family interment services will be held at a later time.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the fund that will support area and state Kansas FFA & 4-H programs in care of Petersen Funeral Home.