6 N Main • Caldwell, KS • 620-845-6424
David Wendell Ginn, lifelong farmer and rancher, became heaven’s newest ranch hand on May 29, 2020. He died in Wichita, KS at the age of 78.
David was born on January 5, 1942 in Wellington, KS. He was the youngest child of Orville and Bess Ginn of Corbin, KS. He attended school at the Corbin Grade School near the family home, then graduated from Caldwell High School in 1959. He spent a year at Kansas State University before returning home to the farm that he loved. Over his 78 years, David never strayed far from the family homestead.
Throughout his life, David was a beloved uncle to his nieces and nephews, teaching them fun new activities like how to chew tobacco and how fast his car would go. These were done without knowledge of his mother, who would have surely disapproved and is probably now making sure he knows how she feels about it.
In 1973, David began dating Peggy Pettigrew of Wellington. Their whirlwind romance led to marriage on February 2, 1974. Peggy nearly had to marry a stand-in for David, as he was busy making sure the cows were fed before he made it to the ceremony. This was a portend for how the ensuing years would be, as David would often be nearly (or actually) late to activities because of his beloved cattle herd. Through good times and difficult times, David and Peggy clung to their love for each other.
David and Peggy soon had two sons, Chris and Clay. Through the years David would attend nearly all his sons’ events, even driving two hours to see one son throw the shot put once at a track meet, then turn around and go home. During the state basketball tournaments, he would drive to Hays or Manhattan to see the game, then drive home after to feed his cattle and drive back the next day. He only said that he was concerned about his sons’ performances once, when no one was able to answer the question of “how many acres are in a square mile” during a high school Scholar’s Bowl meet.
His dedication to his family was never more apparent than when the family home burned to the ground in March 1980. When Peggy arrived at the scene, she saw David kneeling in the ditch, watching the remains of their smoldering home. He said, “I don’t have a place for my family. What will we do?” He spent the next week looking for a new home, finding one that had been unused for several years. With the help of the church and local community that he had poured so much in to over the years, David was able to quickly move the family in to the home they would spend the next few years living in.
David loved and cared for the land entrusted to him. He would drive to each field after all the crops were planted to say a prayer over them, saying “God, I did my job here, now it’s all up to you.” David did everything in his power to make sure that the land provided for his family. Some of those years were better than others, but he never lost a crop through lack of work. He would pour blood, sweat, and tears into the land, sometimes with a bit of salt through his humor. He had a lot of help from his various farm dogs, especially Ralph, a stray that showed up at the farm one day and became David’s constant companion. Ralph could be seen riding on the hood of David’s truck while he was feeding cattle.
Laughter was a common thing around David. There are many memories shared by his family of times that he was simply fun to be around. He and Rod Lungren often cheated together while playing cards with Peggy and Pam, followed by uproarious laughter from them and shared consternation from their wives. His grandchildren loved to play Uno Attack with him, always shrieking in joy when the machine spit out way too many cards in his direction. He loved to joke and tell stories while leaning over the bed of his truck.
David was active in the community as well. He served as a county committeeman with the ASCS (FSA) board for many years, along with the Recreation Board and CO-OP Board in Caldwell and numerous boards and committees at the Corbin United Methodist Church.
The family often vacationed in Estes Park, CO when the opportunity presented itself in the summer. David loved the Lazy B Ranch, telling his sons about all the old western movies he watched when he was younger. He would take his family to Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park and walk the same trail that he had walked with his parents for many years. He always enjoyed bringing home a box of salt water taffy from The Taffy Shop in Estes as well.
In his final years, David suffered from Parkinson’s disease and back issues from a lifetime of hard labor. He never lost the spark that made him unique. Through it all he maintained his sense of humor and his love and concern for his family. He would often be more worried about Peggy than about himself. He endeared himself to the nurses that helped take care of him.
David was beloved by those who knew him and will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
David was preceded in death by his parents, Orville and Bess Ginn. He is survived by his wife Peggy, of the home; son Clay (Collette) of McKinney, TX and their children, Ashlee, Alex, Katie, and David, surrogate daughter Tammy Stevenson of Caldwell, and her sons Trent, Trevor, and families, son Chris (Carrie) of Mission, KS and their children, brother Gary (Clara) of Caldwell, sister Carolyn (Clark) of Wellington, and a large extended family.