THAYER — Donald R. “Pops” Vining, 72, of Thayer died at 10:43 a.m. Thursday, July 2, 2009, at his home. He had been in failing health.
He was born Sept. 30, 1936, in Thayer to Franklin Irwin and Gladys Opal (Carter) Vining. As a young boy, he grew up in Thayer and later moved with his family to Washington. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the military police from 1955-1956. He also served in the Kansas National Guard 891st Engineer Battalion from 1979 to 1996.
He married Patricia Roney on Nov. 26, 1960, in Las Vegas. For several years, they lived in California, where he worked as a roller skate instructor and also at Kaiser Aluminum Manufacturing Co.
Upon returning to Thayer in 1978, he worked for Bush Hog Manufacturing Co. in Galesburg. In 1985, he began working at the Kansas Army Ammunition Plant, in security, retiring from there in 1995. Following retirement, he worked at Oil Patch for two years.
He was a member of Thayer Christian Church and a former member of Moose Lodge in California. He enjoyed fishing, woodworking and especially loved spending time with his grandchildren.
Survivors include his wife, Patricia Vining of the home; three sons, Anthony J. Vining and his wife, Tammy, William M. Vining and his wife, Amy, all of Thayer, and Donald F. Vining and his wife, Mindy, of Yates Center; three daughters, Bettina J. Wheeler and her husband, Dan, Brenda J. Cox and her fiance, Kevin, and Kelli J. Vining, all of Thayer; 16 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and a brother, Franklin I. Vining Jr.
The service will be at 3 p.m. Monday at Thayer Christian Church. Burial will be in Harrison Cemetery in rural Thayer, with military honors given by the Kansas National Guard 891st Engineer Battalion. The family will receive friends from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Forbes Hoffman Funeral Home in Parsons.
Memorials are suggested to the Thayer Pre-School. These may be left at or mailed to funeral home, P.O. Box 374, Parsons, 67357.