Donald Clark Gillet was born Jan. 8, 1933, on a farm in Marion County to Roy and Hester (Clark) Gillet. His early life was spent on a farm in Summit Township, near Summit School where he attended through the eighth grade.
Don was a self-employed carpenter and was known for his singing, whistling, and yodeling while he was on the job.
On Nov. 27, 1955, he married Reeta Joyce Gaines at Summit Church. They lived on the same farm all their married life and raised four daughters, Donella, Brenda, Janet, and Debra.
While Don milked cows with his wife and also farmed, his love was carpentry work. Together with Frank Heath and Franklin Buller, many houses, buildings, and fences were constructed by the trio in this part of Kansas.
Following an accident in 1989, Don retired. His wife Reeta died Nov. 8, 1991, but Don remained on the farm until June 2008.
Don died May 18, 2009, at Legacy Park in Peabody.
While he was a carpenter, Don never lacked for work. He loved working for and meeting farmers and their families. He treasured times on the job when he could share a meal with them. He often told stories of the great cooks that he had met through his work. Don also was the caretaker of Summit Church Cemetery for many years. He took great pride in taking care of the place where many of his loved ones were laid to rest. He also loved telling stories, repeating them to family and friends. He had a great laugh when he shared his stories. He had great wit and many nicknames for the people in his tales.
We will miss his sayings, like “the directions were right on that” and “that’s about a B plus” and “let that be a lesson to you, don’t do that anymore.” And then there was “If you own one dog, you have a dog, two dogs and you have half a dog, three dogs and you have no dog at all.” He had a good-natured way about him if you didn’t make him mad.
Don was blessed with many gifts, including the ability to draw. He read the newspaper from front to back and developed a love for television. Trying to visit with him during “The Price is Right” or “Wheel of Fortune” was nearly impossible.
Don was a member of Summit Church and attended the Whitewater Center Church.
While many times he could seem to be quite gruff, he had a special affection for being a grandparent. He also loved fire, the more petrol the better.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Hester; his wife, Reeta; and his sister, Yvonne.
He is survived by his children, Donella Humphries of Florence, Brenda Riggs and her husband, Dennis, of Peabody, Janet Post and her husband, Patrick, of Burns, and Debra Gillet and spouse, Jim Anderson, of Herington; 10 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. He also is survived by his sister, LaVonne Ammeter of Florence and many relatives of the Clark, Gillet, Gaines, and Weber families.
A visitation was Thursday morning at Summit Church followed by a graveside service and burial at Summit Cemetery. The service was officiated by Pastor Arlen Busenitz. The family provided music. Pallbearers were Seth Post, Andrew Nave, Jesse Riggs, Ethan Riggs, Jordan Riggs, and Nathan Bishop.
Memorial contributions may be made to POPPS (Partners of Peabody Parks). Zeiner Funeral Home was in charge of the arrangements.