James Clarence (Jace) Wynes, 100, Lawrence, KS, passed away Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, at Pioneer Lodge in Lawrence. He was born Dec. 9, 1913, to George and Lula (Simmons) Wynes in Taberville.
The family moved to Stockton when Jim was six years old. He graduated from Stockton High School in 1933. He excelled in the sports of basketball and football, as well as academics. Right after graduation, he joined the Roosevelt government CCC Camp where he worked on conservation projects in Minnesota.
After his family moved near Dederick in the early 1930s, Jim met Ethel Hargrove when they were both attending Sulpher Springs Baptist Church. They were married on Jan. 1, 1936, and they celebrated their fifty-ninth wedding anniversary four days before Ethel passed away. They had three children – Lois, Larry and Lindon.
Jim worked as a switchman, brakeman and conductor for the Missouri Pacific Railroad; as an insurance agent; and upon retirement, a farmer. He loved farming, especially when working with his nephew, Gary Collins.
When Jim was 15 years old, he ordered a banjo from the Montgomery Ward catalog and taught himself to play. He was involved in music all his life, singing in high school musicals and events, gospel quartets and playing for the “Hayloft Gang” in the late 1940s, and a radio program for KNEM in Nevada called “The Wynes Family,” which included his wife, Ethel, and their three children – Lois, Larry and Linn. In the 1970s, he formed the “Family Tree Band,” which included his son, Larry; daughter, Lois; son-in-law, Chuck, and grandson, Chuck. The last performance by “Family Tree” was for Jim’s ninetieth birthday, where he played and sang his favorite, “The Auctioneer Song.” There was always music and singing in the house, car or wherever Jim was.
Jim was a great husband, father and grandfather, and was always full of fun. He always had a joke to tell. He loved to read and watch sports on television, usually at the same time. He loved to make music, playing guitar or banjo and singing with his family. We will miss him so much.
He was preceded in death by his wife, parents, four sisters, three brothers and a number of sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.
Survivors include his daughter, Lois Mead, and husband, Chuck; two sons, Larry Wynes and wife, Shirley, and Lindon Wynes and wife, Linda; eight grandchildren – Chuck Mead, Debbra Peres, Kristy Bailey, Sharri Hacker, Marla Leeper, Randal Wynes, Joel Wynes and Kassy Wynes; 12 great-grandchildren; eight great-great-grandchildren; his best friend, Alpha Schindler; a sister-in-law, Ruby Sherman; two brothers-in-law: Charles (Pat) Hargrove and Richard (Claudia) Hargrove; and many loving nieces and nephews.
Services were held on Saturday, March 1, in Bland-Hackleman Funeral Home in El Dorado Springs with Elder Dick Wynes officiating. Interment followed at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery under the direction of Bland-Hackleman Funeral Home.
Pallbearers were Chuck Mead, Randy Wynes, Joel Wynes, Doug Hacker, Chandler Collins and Brandon Esry. Honorary pallbearers were Debbra Peres, Kristy Bailey, Sharri Hacker, Marla Leeper and Kassy Wynes.
Online condolences may be left at www.blandhackleman.com.