Rex Arnold Gebhards, lifelong Weskan farmer and rancher passed from this life on Monday night, July 2, 2018. He was a kind, generous and loving soul who will be deeply missed by his family, friends and all who had opportunity to know him.
Rex was born in Goodland, Kansas to Sheila Dobbs Gebhards and Jim Gebhards on March 10, 1954. They took him home to the farm south of Weskan where he spent most of the rest of his life, except for his college years in Hays, Kansas where he earned a B.S. degree in Elementary Education in 1976 and a short time teaching elementary school in Great Bend. He then decided to return to the farm to work with his dad.
Rex enjoyed the life of a farmer and rancher, especially gardening and raising colorful flowers in unique “found” planters like chair seats and old washer tanks. He liked raising chickens, cats and several beloved dogs, most especially his last canine companion Digsby whose ashes will be buried with him.
He enjoyed hosting his “city” cousins but never faulted them for their lack of country “smarts”. The girl cousins were outnumbered by the boys but often found Rex as their protector when things took a turn for the worse in the horse tank or on the car hood sled in the pasture.
Life on the farm was not as laid back as John Denver would have you believe. Rex worked hard, making the best of the tools and equipment at hand. He and Randy finally gave up the use of a particularly evil pair of fence pliers by placing them in Jim’s “eternal” tool box when they placed his ashes there in July, 2015.
People found Rex a good listener, one who put you at ease and wanted to hear what you had to say. He didn’t judge, wanting to understand what was going on with those he met. He didn’t just listen, he actively helped. He offered gardening advice when he saw a tree in need of care, he traveled to collect furniture when told of a need, and performed many more acts of generosity known only to those who enjoyed his kindness.
Going before Rex were his dad, Jim; his grandparents Herman and Elizabeth Gebhards and F.H. and Elsie Dobbs; aunts Edith Dobbs, Velma Gebhards Smart, and Loretta Gebhards Smart; and uncles Logan Dobbs and Dale Gebhards. He is surely enjoying listening to and catching up with them.
Left behind with broken hearts are his mom, Sheila; his big (in age but not height) brother Randy and his wife Lou Ann; Aunts Irene Gebhards Gittinger and Sheila Kay Gebhards: Dobbs, Gittinger, Gebhards and Smart cousins, and friends too many to name.
Matthew Chapter 5 – the Beatitudes - has wisdom that reminds us of Rex.
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him: And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.