Galen Hainer

August 30, 1933

Galen D. Hainer
A Memorial Celebration for longtime Lamar resident, Galen D. Hainer was held at 11:00 AM, Friday, May 6, 2016 at the Peacock Funeral Home with Ian Blacker of the Lamar Christian Church officiating. A private family inurnment will follow at a later date in the Wayne Township Cemetery in Lewis, Kansas.

Galen Dee Hainer was born August 30, 1933 in Big Bow, Stanton County, Kansas to Ray Ernest Hainer and Thressa Mary Philpott Hainer. When Galen was in first grade the family moved the house from the farm into Johnson City, Kansas so Galen could attend school.

In 1946 the family moved to a farm south of Dodge City, Kansas. Galen spent his school years working with his father on the farm raising wheat and participated in 4-H and FFA and raised Black Angus cattle and hogs. After graduation from high school in 1953 Galen attended Kansas State University for 2 years. Having to get farm deferments meant traveling back to Dodge and in 1953 he volunteered with the U.S. Army. On the day he reported for his induction physical the armistice was announced. He often told about how a room full of nearly naked men were told to keep quiet while the event was announced. Then they all let out a shout! He had thought he would be a meat inspector due to his college courses. Instead he was assigned to the medical corps and sent to Fort Sam Houston for training. This was followed by reassignment to Fitsimmons Hospital in Denver which determined that he would live in Denver when he left the Army. 

Following training in Denver he was sent to Seoul, Korea at Yung Dung Po and the 121st Evac Hospital where he served for 16th months. He was a corpsman until others were rotated back to the US and he was asked if he wanted to be a urology specialist. This meant scrubbing for surgeries in the morning and working clinics in the afternoon. He was on the surgical team who operated on South Korean President Sigmund Rhea and he proudly shows the letter of appreciation each member of the team received from President Rhea. The 121st Evac became famous when the movie and TV program M*A*S*H was made. 

When the company mortician left Galen was asked if he wanted to take the job. He quickly decided this was not for him. Many years later when he worked at the Peacock Funeral Home in Lamar he said "If I knew then what I know now about being a mortician I would have made it my life career."

His next posting with the Army was at Fort Meade, Maryland where he worked as a surgical technician, scrubbing for surgery and assisting at clinic duties. He spent his weekends in nearby Washinton, D.C. and began attending National City Christian Church. It was at this church that he met his wife of 60 years, Kaye Snyder. They began dating and 6 months later under a canopy of cherry blossums he made  the romantic proposal, "When I get out of the Army I'm going to Denver to live. Do you want to come along?" She said yes, and they went immediately to the Army PX at Walter Reed Medical Center and purchased the only set of wedding rings they each ever wore. 

On August 4, 1956 they were married at the chapel in National City Christian Church and left immediately on a wedding trip to Colorado. For Kaye this was her first trip west of the Ohio/Indiana Line, and what a trip it was. Galen wanted to show her all the places he enjoyed. All was well until they reached the Badlands of South Dakota. It was bare and rocky with not a green thing growing anyplace. He loved to tell later how she refused to get out of the car. The trip continued to Yellowstone National Park and then to Denver where there were lots of green trees and she decided the West wasn't so bad after all.

Arriving in Denver the immediate need was a job and a place to live. Galen was familiar with the Aurora/Denver area from his time at Fitzsimmons, and they found a small apartment. Galen started looking for work and his first stop was J.C. Penny store who hired him as a stock clerk. Kaye returned to her job with the FBI, transferring from Washington D.C.

A son, Eugene Lee was born in November, 1957. Galen applied for jobs with the Denver police department and the Colorado State Patrol in 1958 and was hired in 1959 by the patrol. Following training he was assigned to Grand Junction. A 2nd son, Gregory Lynn was born in September, 1959, followed by a 3rd son, Glen Ray in 1961.

In 1964 Galen was transferred to Glenwood Springs and 5 days before Christmas everything was loaded up for the move with the decorated tree being the last thing on the truck. Galen was the only officer to patrol from Dotsero to Silt and all the way up to Aspen as his partner was on medical leave. This meant long days, little time of, and winter weather conditions. Just after the holidays Galen was told he was to meet a charter bus with the Kennedy family. Jackie Kennedy, her children, Bobby Kennedy and his family were spending their winter vacation in Aspen. It wasn't until late in the afternoon, and after dark, that the bus finally came. Galen escorted them into Aspen where the Secret Service was stationed on rooftops. After an extremely long day he was able to return home. When asked by Kaye if he had seen Jackie Kennedy his reply was not something I'd want to repeat. 

In 1965, after several months of long hours and no relief he resigned from the State Patrol and returned to Grand Junction where he purchased a feed store. After a year a fire in an adjoining business burned the buildings, and it had to be abandon. But contacts made with State Agriculture Department people led to him being hired as a Consumer Protection Officer and reassignment in 1967 to Fort Morgan. Within a short time Galen learned that Morgan County was starting a volunteer ambulance service. With his medical training and Patrol background he found his volunteer activity. He was appointed as  Director of the service, and was always proud of the improvements the service made during his tenure. From 2 mortuary hearses that had been donated, the service grew in 12 years to 5 fully equipped ambulances stationed in Wiggins, Brush and Fort Morgan with radio contact to the local hospital, and 30 fully trained Emergency Medical Technicians. (EMT's) The family stayed in Fort Morgan for 12 years, and all the boys were able to graduate from Fort Morgan High School.

In 1979 Galen was transferred by the Ag Dept. to Denver as the Supervisor of Grain Warehouse inspections where he remained until 1987. At the time he requested a transfer to Lamar to be closer to his ailing Father in Kansas. Retirement followed in 1988 after 30 years of State service. 

Retirement in Lamar? How would he occupy his time? No problem. He did Commercial Driver's License (CDL) examinations, drove the activity bus for Lamar School District, drove a bus for the handicapped workshop, helped establish the Homeless Center, and began working part time with Peacock Funeral Home for Danny Peacock. Part time became nearly full time when Clay Peacock took over the business, and Galen found a retirement activity he truly felt called to do. He only refused to learn embalming. He spent too many years being called out at night with the patrol and the ambulance service. 

In 1991 the railroad depot was opened as a Colorado Welcome Center, and Galen found another volunteer opportunity. With his knowledge of Colorado it was a perfect fit. He and his wife co-managed the Welcome Center from 1993 until 2000, and he volunteered 25 years until his health began to fail.

Galen was always a volunteer, from his Army days to the Welcome Center. He served as Cub Scout Master and coached baseball when the boys were younger, served as a Big Brother in Denver. He was a life member of the Elks Lodge, was a life Member of the VFW and served as quartermaster and commander of the Lamar VFW, joined the American Legion, and volunteered in various activities in every Lodge he joined. He served as trustee and treasurer in various churches the family attended, and was currently a member of the Wiley United Methodist Church. 

He is preceded in death by his parents.

Galen is survived by his wife Kaye of the family home in Lamar; three sons and their wives, Eugene (Brenda Bailey-Hainer) Hainer of Denver, Gregory (Kay) Hainer of Dodge City, KS and Glen (Brenda Martin) Hainer of Westminster, CO; grandchildren include Cory, Eric, Brian, Rachel, Meghan and Kelsie. Also surviving are his sister Nancy Rogers of Great Bend, KS; sister-in-law Sharon (Snyder) Arbaugh of Canton, OH; aunts Maryalice Philpott of Bazine, KS, Gladys Schmidt of Goessel, KS, Joan Philpott of Greensburg, KS as well as 2 nieces, 1 nephew numerous cousins and many friends.

Memorial Contributions may be made to the St. Jude’s Hospital or to the Lamar Area Hospice either direct or in care of the Peacock Funeral Home.
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