Linn County News
Published March 10, 2021
Alfonso Gainer Jr. (Junior), 86, of Garnett, Kan. (formerly Centerville, Kan.), died on Sunday, March 7, 2021.
Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. Thursday, March 11, 2021, with the funeral service to follow at 7 p.m. at Dengel & Son Mortuary, Louisburg, Kan. Burial will be held later with the immediate family at the Queen of the Holy Rosary Cemetery in Wea, Kan., beside his son, Christopher Allen Gainer.
Junior was born on Oct. 28, 1934, in White Pine, W. Va., the son of Alfonso Gainer Sr. and Opal Regina Bennett Gainer. He was raised in a very humble home in the hills of West Virginia. His first job was working with Tracy Lydicks where he worked a team of mules pulling logs. His wages were $2 per day, and it was hard work. Junior attended Trace Fork School in West Virginia. After completing the eighth grade, to escape working in the coal mines of West Virginia he joined his cousin, Ron Gainer, in Kansas for promises of good employment. He went to work for a tree trimming company and worked at a gas station in Shawnee, Kan. He later went to work as an operator in the heavy equipment construction business. On Oct. 1, 1958, he joined International Union of Operating Engineers Local 101 as a heavy equipment operator. After retiring he worked just as hard at home and helping others as he did prior to retiring.
Al met his future wife, Mary Ellen Stahl, at the young age of 17. Mary Ellen and Al were set up on a blind date by his cousin, Ron Gainer, and Mary Ellen’s cousin, Edna Kupersmith. They were married at the Queen of Holy Rosary Church in Wea, Kan., on May 1, 1954. Al and Mary’s marriage lasted for 67 wonderful years!
In 1958, after living in Raytown, Mo., Al and Mary purchased a new home in Shawnee, where they resided until 1980 when they moved to Linn County, Kan. Junior enjoyed fishing, deer hunting and hunting for morel mushrooms, tinkering with his tractors and taking drives. He was also ready to help his kids and anybody else that needed it.
After moving to Linn County, Junior and Mary then moved to their newly built home in Centerville, Kan. They always planted a large garden, enjoyed having company and especially loved it when all the kids and their families were there on Sunday afternoons for a big meal and fellowship.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Alfonso and Opal Gainer; sons, Robert (Bob) Gainer and Christopher (Chris) Gainer; sister, Joan Hughes; and brothers, Edwin “Ed” Gainer, Jack Gainer, Vurl Bland and Burl Bland.
Survivors include daughter Joyce Stoughton (Randy), Osawatomie, Kan.; son Doug Gainer (Lisa), Parker, Kan.; sister Lelia Gainer of St. Charles, Mo; grandchildren Jessica Berg, DeAnna Morgan and Dalton Gainer; and five great-grandchildren, Emery Morgan, Dakota Berg, Liam Berg, Hadley Morgan and Owen Morgan.
Though he remained in Kansas for the rest of his life, his heart never left the mountains of West Virginia. He returned there as often as possible to visit family and friends and to hunt in the places of his youth on Turkey Knob.
Memorial contributions may be made to Good Shepherd Hospice or Queen of the Holy Rosary Cemetery c/o Dengel & Son Mortuary, P.O. Box 669, Louisburg, Kan. 66053.
To leave a special message for the family online, please visit www.dengelmortuary.com
Arr: Dengel & Son Mortuary Louisburg Chapel
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