James Arnold (Jim) Gebhards

James Arnold (Jim) Gebhards died Sunday, July 12, 2015 under hospice care at Pioneer Ridge retirement community in Lawrence, Kansas after a brief and painful struggle brought on by a blood clot.
Jim was born September 2, 1930 on a farm near Weskan, Kansas, the son of Herman and Elizabeth Weis Gebhards. After graduating from Weskan High School he farmed the family land for over 65 years, planting what would be his last wheat crop just last year. Jim loved his time on the tractor, even at the age of 83. Perhaps even more than his tractor time he enjoyed having a back-grounding calf operation recognized each year at sale time for its high quality. In addition to farming and tending cattle over the years, Jim enjoyed shooting and was a good shot, earning money as a jackrabbit market hunter in the 40’s and 50’s. A stint in construction building bridges, including the low-water bridge north of Weskan was something he talked of often as a job he truly enjoyed. He also liked reading about current events, geology, fossils, aviation, and cars. He had a rock collecting and polishing hobby and spent many hours talking fossils with Pete Bussen at Penny’s Diner in Sharon Spr ings. He was a “dues-paying” member of several coffee drinker gatherings, working his way from Penny’s to Stephen’s to the Weskan Co-op before taking up his daily farm chores south of Weskan.
On December 23, 1951, Jim married Sheila Dobbs. She survives of the home in Sharon Springs. Together they raised James R. (Randy) of Lawrence and Rex Arnold Gebhards of the farm near Weskan. Both also survive to remember and honor their dad. Additional survivors include his sister Irene Gittinger of Goodland, KS, his sister-in-law Sheila Kay Gebhards of Walnut Creek, CA; Randy’s wife, Lou Ann; and many loving nieces and nephews. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Velma Smart and brother-in-law Johnny Smart; sister Loretta Smart and brother-in- law Roy Smart; brother-in-law Robert Gittinger and brother Dale Gebhards.
The family wishes to thank the caring and supportive nurses and staff on second floor north at Lawrence Memorial Hospital; the Pioneer Ridge Rapid Recovery unit; Grace Hospice; and Drs. Walter Farrell and Jason Kimball who took such good care of Jim in his last months. His time in Lawrence was a blessing to his family. Special thanks also to Brian Unruh, P.A. with Colby’s Citizen’s Medical Center who took such good care of Jim for many years during his time in western Kansas.
Jim was cremated as he wished. Services details are pending.