Haynes Kueckelhan
By Wise Funeral Home
Jul 20, 2013
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Bonham, Texas -- Lester Haynes Kueckelhan, 77, a beloved husband of 55 years, brother, father, grandfather, and teacher went to be with our Lord, Friday, July 19, 2013 in Plano, Texas. 

Haynes was born April 13, 1936 near Lamasco, Texas in his grandmotherís home.  He was the son of Eupha Nell Haynes and Lester Howard Kueckelhan of Bonham, Texas.  He accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior as a boy and he was baptized in the Red River.  He attended a one-room schoolhouse at Ridings and later attended Bonham High School.  He married Malda Richardson on April 25 1958, in Midland, Texas. 

Haynes was a high school agriculture teacher for 28 years.  He graduated from East Texas State Teachers College with a Bachelors and Masters Degree in agriculture.  While at ETSTC, Haynes was a member of the universityís rodeo team for four years and qualified for the College National Finals as a steer wrestler.  In 1960, and after graduate school, Haynes returned home to continue ranching.  He also began teaching high school agriculture in the Chapel Hill I.S.D. near Tyler, Texas and then in the Sam Rayburn I.S.D. near Ivanhoe, Texas. 

Haynesí interest in rodeos, however, began when he was a teenager.  Growing up in the 1940ís, he looked up to radio and movie stars like Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy and the Lone Ranger.  Raising horses, roping calves and breaking horses was a way of life that he really loved and he dreamed of running his own rodeo some day.  In 1955, with the encouragement of his parents, he did just that.  He staged the first Kueckelhan Ranch Rodeo on the grounds of his family ranch.  With borrowed livestock and equipment, and church pews from the nearby Corinth Baptist Church for spectators, at a make shift arena and with handmade posters describing the events, a Fannin County tradition was born. 

From humble beginnings, the rodeo performances got bigger and better each year.  The number of rodeo performers increased throughout the years with more and more fans attending to see exciting rodeo events.  It all took place over a period of many years until this, the 58th consecutive year.  Under Haynesí direction, Kueckelhan Ranch Rodeo earned official sanction from the IPRA, CRRA, CSRA, and UPRA.  The rodeo has received a number of prestigious awards from these associations, including Best Produced Rodeo, Best Promotional Rodeo, and Best Southern Region Rodeo.  Haynes served on the first IPR Board of Governors and co-founded the CRRA. Each year, Haynes invited children from two childrenís homes and the Gainesville School for Girls to the rodeo. 

The rodeo has been one of the most attended events each year in Fannin County, attracting more annual visitors than any other single sports event, in addition to being the longest running family owned rodeo in history. He was inducted into the Fannin County Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.

Haynes is survived by wife Malda of 55 years; daughter Deanya and husband Robert Cocanougher, son Marty and wife Cindy; grandchildren Haley, Kara, and Quincy; and great-grandson Parker; sisters Jan Gibbs and Nan Keeton and many nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, and dear friends. 

For many years, Haynes served the Lord as Deacon at Corinth Baptist Church and thereafter as a Co-Founder and Elder at the Bois Dí Arc Creek Cowboy Church. 

The family will receive friends from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 21, 2013 at the Bois DíArc Creek Cowboy Church, 3375 South State Hwy 121, Bonham, Texas with the funeral service to follow at 4:00 p.m. Reverends Kevin Lane, Michael Waters, and Terry Farmer will officiate.  Interment will be in Willow Wild Cemetery, Bonham, Texas under the direction of Wise Funeral Home. 

Serving as pallbearers will be Brian Richardson, Tony Dai, Jacky Gibbs, Nicholas Santana, Roy Reed, Mayfield McCraw, Dennis Keeton and David Farris.  Honorary pallbearers will be Tony Brawner, Rusty Lyles, Jerald Smith, B. J. Stallings, Marvin Thompson, Loyd Reeves, Charles Tate, and Josh McGehee. 

Memorials may be made to a Veteranís organization of your choice or the Bois DíArc Creek Cowboy Church, P. O. Box 405, Bonham, TX 75418.  Online guest register www.wisefuneralhome.com