William Darrel George passed away March 21, 2020, at the age of 66 in Fort Scott, Kansas.
Darrel was born on May 11, 1953, in Fort Scott, Kansas, to William “Bill” and Doris George. He was raised in Uniontown, Kansas, and attended Uniontown High School where he graduated in 1971.
During his high school career, he was very involved with 4-H and FFA in addition to playing sports and working on the family farm. Darrel then attended Fort Scott Community College and later Kansas State University earning a degree in Livestock Production.
His passion for agriculture and caring for the land grew and after college, Darrel returned to the family farm in January of 1976 and formed G-Three Cattle Company with his father, Bill, and brother, Gale.
Darrel’s perseverance and devotion to his family and the farm were unending and he continued to work diligently for 44 years as a farmer and rancher.
Darrel met the love of his life, Laura Koester, in his childhood while showing horses and livestock in 4-H at the Bourbon County Fair. After college, they reconnected again at the county fair and they were married May 14, 1977. Darrel and Laura resided in Uniontown where they happily spent their 42 years of marriage, both of them loving the outdoors, showing and riding horses, raising their four children, and caring for the land and legacy they were building for the future.
His love of the Bourbon County Fair began in his youth and continued throughout his life. Darrel spent many of his years serving the Bourbon County Fair Board in various roles and on many committees. He served as the Fair Board Vice President from 1998 to 2000, as the President from 2005 to 2016 and as the Bourbon County Horse Project Leader for nearly 20 years. He was also selected as the “Fair Board Member of the Year” in both 2011 and 2015. In addition to his leadership roles, Darrel gave countless hours working to maintain the grounds, caretaking and preparing the rodeo arena, donating supplies, and supporting events. His passion, however, was working with the youth. He loved to help the 4-Hers learn and enjoy their projects and never forgot that the fair is ultimately for the benefit of the kids. One of his greatest accomplishments was being inducted into the Kansas Fairs and Festivals Hall of Fame in 2019 and this honor truly shows the amount of love, enthusiasm, dedication, and time Darrel gave to this organization.
In addition to his dedication to the county fair, Darrel also served as the president of the Mid-Eastern Kansas Western Horse Association (MEKWHA), on the K-State Southeast Agricultural Research Advisory Committee, and as the Uniontown Saddle Club President. He was a member of the Working Ranch Cowboy Association, American Quarter Horse Association, National Cutting Horse Association, and the Kansas Livestock Association.
Some of Darrel’s other honors included: Kansas Farm Family of the year in 1994, Kansas Master Farmer/Master Homemaker in 2007, Grassland Award in 2001, and the Bourbon County Extension Appreciation Award in 2000.
However, it is not the titles or roles he is remembered for. Darrel was the embodiment of hard work, grit, and integrity. His dedication never ceased and he spent all of his days working diligently to be a worthy caretaker of the land and livestock. There were countless late nights on the tractor planting after sundown while listening to the Royals on the radio and numerous early mornings gathering and shipping cattle at sunrise.
He had an unrivaled work ethic and never quit until the job at hand was completed. He was known to tell his children, “We don’t eat dinner until the animals have had theirs”.
This old cowboy loved doing all things horseback and had a way with horsemanship that can never be matched. He taught his children and grandchildren to love the outdoors and agriculture and to always do the right thing.
Darrel’s life was filled with compassion for his work, pure joy and love for his family, and hope for the future to come. His time on earth has been fulfilled by the countless hours of dedication and devotion he put into life. Much like the end to a long day of work, the end of his life is the completion of a job well done.
Darrel was preceded in death by his parents William Miles and Freda Doris George, Uniontown. He is survived by his wife, Laura, Uniontown; two daughters, Lindsey Huseman and husband Mark, Ellsworth; and Lacey Wray and husband Mark, Ottawa; two sons, Cole George and wife Erika, Uniontown; and Drew George, Denver, Co. Darrel’s legacy will certainly live on in his five beloved grandchildren, Hagen and Heidi Huseman, Ellsworth; Sage and Sadie Wray, Ottawa; and Brielle George, Uniontown. Darrel is also survived by his four siblings; Sharon Hixson and husband Warren, Hutchinson; Herschel George and wife Carol, Uniontown; Gale George and wife Kathy, Uniontown; and Steve George and wife Myra, Salina; and his nieces and nephews, and the rest of his family and friends.
Services are still pending. However, the family plans to hold a private burial in the coming weeks.
There will be a celebration of life later this year for all family and friends to remember and honor this man who will never be forgotten.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Bourbon County Fair Association for the rodeo arena upgrades and maintenance, and may be left in care of Cheney Witt Chapel, PO Box 347, 201 S. Main, Fort Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.