Dean Austin Gayman

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Dean Austin Gayman, 70, Schell City, Mo., passed away on Sunday, April 24, 2016, at Freeman West Hospital, in Joplin, Mo., following a lengthy illness. Dean was born June 25, 1945, in Schell City, to Leo Opal and Lucy Eleanor (Cruse) Gayman. His father, Leo, was tragically struck by lightning when Dean was two-weeks-old. His mother, Lucy, later married Dale Ijams who raised Dean as his son. Dale and Lucy together had five children, making a total of twelve children for them.

Dean attended the Schell City public school and graduated in 1964. He loved sports and played basketball both at school and at home. He loved softball and played third base for a local team. Dean even coached his kids' softball teams. Dean loved picking pecans and according to everyone we've talked to, he was probably the fastest picker ever. There was no tree he couldn't climb to shake the pecans out of. Dean loved flowers and would often go with Rachel to green houses.

Shortly after high school, Dean was drafted into the United States Army for two years where he was stationed in Germany. Dean worked at Balk Tractor and Equipment for 18 years. When they closed, farmers continued to call him to work on their equipment which he did for more than 10 years. In addition to that, he ran the road grader for Blue Mound Township as well as serving as trustee for 25 years. Throughout Dean's life he also farmed on the side. He was not afraid of any type of work. Dean's pet project was Flat Rock Cemetery. He maintained it because he enjoyed it, never accepting a dime for it.

Dean met Alice Spencer in 1973 and they were married on Oct. 27. Together, they raised their five children, Robert, Matthew, Rachel, Luke, and Micah. Dean instilled a wonderful work ethic in all of his children and grandchildren by his example. He enjoyed his golf cart loaded with grandkids hanging everywhere on it.

Dean is survived by his wife, Alice, of the home; his five children; 23 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren; three brothers, Daniel, Dale, and David; three sisters, Marla, Janet, and Sherrie; a host of nieces, nephews, many friends; and Tom Crane, one of his dearest friends.

Dean was preceded in death by his parents; five siblings, Eva, Barbara, Duane, Louise, and Dennis; and one granddaughter, Adrianne.

Graveside services with military honors will be held at 2 p.m., Tuesday, April 26, at Green Lawn Cemetery, in Schell City, with Pastor Dan Gayman officiating. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m., Monday, at Lewis-Hoagland Funeral Home, in Schell City.

Contributions may be made in his memory to Flat Rock Cemetery in care of Lewis-Hoagland Funeral Home, P.O. Box 64, Schell City, Mo.