David Dean Pike

David D. Pike died at LMH hospital on June 16, 2020 in Lawrence, KS. He was 71. He had an earlier brush with Death in 2014 when hospitalized for 6 weeks with multiple illnesses including lymphoma, or, as he liked to say “The Big C.” Dave wasn’t ready to go yet and he convinced Death to hold off for another 6 years. He is survived by his beloved wife, Jean Ann (Owen) Pike, of the home.

Other survivors include his daughter Fadra (Cotter) Mitchell, Vinland, KS; sons, Eric Pike and William Pike, of Lawrence, KS; brother Leon Pike, Chandler, AZ; seven grandchildren: Chesney Buck, Sylvan Mitchell, Holden Pike, Wake Mitchell, Eli Mitchell, Camden Johnson, and Cheyenne Kindhart.

Frugal to the end, Dave elected cremation. He waved off any talk about his death with “I don’t care. I’m going to be dead. Keep it cheap and simple.” Due to the coronavirus pandemic and concerns for people with preexisting health conditions, his family will celebrate his life privately on July 4th, Dave’s favorite holiday. His ashes will be shot into the sky in a fireworks grand finale. Arrangements for live-streaming his farewell launch will be shared via social media.

David was born on June 7, 1949 in Marysville, KS to his late parents Arthur Pike and Marie (Wildt) Pike. His parents were respected farmers. As founding members, they led the Balderson Boosters 4-H club for over 20 years. Dave’s formative years were shaped by his 4-H and church relationships.

David’s father was an electrical know-how who taught his 4-H protégé how to wire houses. Dave’s mother was the Home Ec. Queen, famous for her canned goods. His 4-H parents raised a man fondly remembered for baking the finest pies, birthing prize livestock, plumbing houses, healing injuries, blowing glass, building theater sets, singing his heart out off key, in a dress for the local community theater (M-ACT), and growing the finest of flowers and produce.

Dave’s education started in a one-room school with his dear friends Sherry and Hank through the 7th grade. He completed 8th – 12th grades in Marysville, KS. Upon graduating in 1967, Dave enrolled at Phillips University in Enid, OK with the goal of becoming a minister. He studied at Phillips until he was drafted for the Vietnam War as a conscientious objector.

David completed his basics in June of 1969. He served the Navy as a hospital corpsman for 6 years. Dave completed his Navy service honorably in 1975. His service was recognized with a National Defense Service Medal, a Medal of Good Conduct and a Letter of commendation (NNMC, Bethesda).

David used to say he was a little lost after he left the Navy until the love of his life, Jean Ann, found him at the end of a kite string in a Nebraska cornfield. They were married soon after in 1977. Jean Ann brought two feral children into the marriage making for a very active rest of their lives together.

Dave returned to Kansas with his new family to assist his father with farming in 1978. While helping manage the family farm, Dave worked as a plumber and electrician.

David resumed his military career in 1982 when he enlisted with the Kansas Army National Guard, 2nd Battalion 130th Field Artillery Unit. When Dave wasn’t fixing busted pipes, bossing people around backstage, or stuffing his stage falsies, he was off to National Guard camp for what he called his weekend warrior trainings. His fellow guardsmen admired his unique leadership style, his encyclopedic knowledge, and his wacky sense of humor. They respected his pacifism and his outspoken irreverence for using guns as a means to solve problems. Stories have it that his daily routines at camp started with coffee brewed precisely at 4:20 am while wearing nothing but his speedos and his “Hemp hoppers” rope sandals. He could smell army baloney a mile away and he shared his meals with the armadillos that lived under the bunkers used for sleeping quarters. Staff Sargent Pike retired from duty in 2001 with 25 years of service.

In the meantime, David and his family moved to Emporia, KS to pursue college degrees. Dave graduated with his BA in sociology from Emporia State University in 1995.

Having earned their diplomas, Dave and Jean Ann moved to Lawrence, KS in 1996. They fit right in with the East Lawrence neighborhood and the local arts scene. Dave mentored many young gardeners and artists. He supported the Social Service League as volunteer, handy man, and board member. He enjoyed his grandchildren and their school and Summer Youth Theater productions. He cherished spending summers with his grandson Holden.

David lived a rich last 6 years despite his poor health. He spent his days feeding his chickens, watering tomatoes, and harvesting asparagus and strawberries. He loved visits on the back porch where he held court and his wife’s hand, admired his abundant iris, watched the bunnies play leap-frog and the nesting doves fledge their young. He will be remembered in the butterflies that hover over his summer flowers.

To share your memories or to send a condolence message to his family please visit https://warrenmcelwain.com/obituary/david-d-pike/

Memorial contributions can be made by planting a tree or to the Dave Pike Memorial fund via Facebook or checks may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.


28 Condolences

  1. Alan H Purdie on June 17, 2020 at 11:28 am

    So sorry to hear about David’s passing. He was a good man, father, spouse and my friend for over 40 years.

  2. KT Walsh on June 17, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Shit. What a fine man we have lost. I am so sorry Jean Anne & your whole wonderful, rambunctious family. He was so kind, so gentle & he loved all of you fiercely. He loved East Lawrence & worked hard to help anyone who needed it. My favorite Dave story: I loaned Dave my truck so he could haul something. In turn he left a plate of his famous “magic” cookies on my mailbox. The mail carrier thought they were for him & said they were the best cookies he’d ever had. Dave loved that story.
    He was a dancer, a thespian, a mechanical wizard, a lover of the dirt & I will miss him
    always. Peace KT Walsh

  3. Rebecca Moeller on June 17, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    Oh so sorry Jean Ann and family. My heart goes out to you all. Peace and love.

  4. Val Renault on June 17, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    Jean Ann – So sad to hear this. The few times I met him it was clear that he was solid gold. Love the picture of you two. Peace. Val Renault – Sister Hag

  5. Anthony D Gradert on June 17, 2020 at 7:06 pm

    David will be missed. He was one of my favorite clients at Lucky Dog. When he walked through the door there was always a smile on his face and he was ready to make me laugh. My heart goes out to you.

  6. Carrie Lindsey on June 18, 2020 at 6:31 am

    I’m so sorry Jean Ann. Hugs.

  7. Jenny on June 18, 2020 at 11:41 am

    Love Dave. Love you Jean Ann. It’s impossible and there are no words.

  8. Jenny Nielsen on June 18, 2020 at 11:41 am

    Love to whole family

  9. Sherry L Lorenz on June 18, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    David was my first friend I had when I moved to live on the farm with my Grandparents & Uncle in northern Kansas. Art & Marie, his parents, Leon, his brother & David lived on the same square mile. We attended Church, the Country School & 4-H together.
    The best part of our friendship was the joy & laughter we shared. David was a free spirit, kind & cared about everyone unconditionally.
    When David was about 6 & I was 8 years old we had to walk to school due to our folks getting stuck in the mud after a huge rain. We took a short cut by the creek. We tried to get every reptile & amphibian we saw! So much fun!
    Upon arriving at one of our favorite couple’s home, they laughed hard when they saw us in our dirty wet clothes. They dried our clothes on their wood stove while David wore huge overalls & I wore a big floppy dress. The picture in my head is fun!
    We all continued laughing until we got to school. It must have been close to lunch time. The teacher was displeased & it wasn’t fun going home that night. It was well worth all the unpleasant words from our folks!
    David’s playful sense of humor & sweet soul lives on in our memories. Love & Peace, my first friend.

  10. Henry D. Brucker on June 19, 2020 at 10:10 am

    David and I were farm neighbors and classmates for the first seven years of education in a small country school in Marshall County. He was outgoing and friendly, always interested in meeting and talking with people he might encounter. He was active in 4-H as were his parents who were longtime leaders in our local club.
    I will always remember David for his free spirit and great sense of humor. Rest in peace David! You will be missed by your many friends and your family.

  11. Mike Moreno on June 20, 2020 at 1:28 pm

    Dave was an amazing considerate & caring friend father & man. You will forever be missed dave. My heart goes out to jean ann & his family. I love you guys.

  12. Sandy Hazlett on June 20, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    Dear Jean Ann
    I am so sorry David has gone. What a beautiful picture of you two and a testimonial to your life together. I am thinking of you and will especially do so on July 4th! Love to you and all of your family.

  13. Butch Schmitz on June 21, 2020 at 6:03 am

    Jean Ann – I’m sorry to hear of Dave’s passing. He and I were high school classmates and friends and shared a fun-filled weekend at our 50-year class reunion three years ago. I will never forget his infectious laugh. He will be missed.

  14. Juan De La Cruz Gonzalez on June 21, 2020 at 10:14 am

    I remember Dave with that big smile he always wore on his face he was such a happy man. I am happy to hear his ashes will be blown up threw fireworks it makes me smile as in sure it would have made Dave. Sending Love.

  15. Deb Engstrom on June 21, 2020 at 11:25 am

    So very sorry, Jean Ann. A great man gone too soon. I pray that all the wonderful memories will carry you through this difficult time.

  16. Fadra on June 21, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Late Fragment
    ~by Raymond Carver
    and did you get what you wanted from this life, even so?
    I did.
    and what did you want?
    to call myself beloved,
    to feel myself beloved on this earth

  17. Tracy Lee on June 22, 2020 at 11:16 am

    I’m picturing you now, in your eternal spring garden of peas, strawberries, and yellow irises. Tucking in and watering the zinnia and gourd seeds, taking a break on the back porch, working on a crossword and a cigarette. Watching the birds, bunnies, and butterflies. I’ll miss you, friend.

    Love, Tracy

  18. MR DAVID OHLE on June 24, 2020 at 10:08 am

    So sorry to hear the news.

  19. Jessica O’Malley on June 24, 2020 at 10:51 am

    The girls and I have such fond memories of Dave. Hugs and love to each and every one of you.

  20. Sharilyn Wells on June 24, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    Good bye neighbor

  21. Rita Wagner on June 24, 2020 at 8:00 pm

    Jean and family,
    I feel privileged to have known David for a short while and you, dear Jean! My deepest condolences for a man who lived life well and his loving family.
    My heart goes out to all of you. I know you will miss him. ❤️????

  22. Bob Wiegers on June 25, 2020 at 10:24 am

    Rest in peace SSG Pike and let the bugler sound the charge! Thoughts and prayers to your family.

  23. Bill Halvorsen, Elmdale, Kansas on June 26, 2020 at 10:30 am

    I met Dave in 1983 when I was assigned as Fire Direction Officer for C Battery, 2/130 FA in Marysville. Dave simultaneously made my life easier (by his competence) and harder (by his unusual and unconventional approach to military operations). Two stories come to mind: First, we needed some tape to mark off a training area, preferably red in color, but we couldn’t locate any in the Battery area. Dave told me that it shouldn’t be a problem, just contact Battalion HQ because “they have lots of red tape.” Second, he told me that when he was a Navy Corpsman at Bethesda Hospital that he cared for President Nixon during Nixon’s hospitalization for blood clots and that the President took a special liking to Dave (wonder why?). The president offered to arrange to get him released from active duty if he wanted. Dave said that it was tempting, but he declined. Nixon told him that if he changed his mind, to let him know.

    Eternal rest grant unto him, ‘O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

  24. Dianne Leonard on June 27, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    Jean Ann and family, I am so very sorry for the loss of your husband, father, and grandfather, Dave. Dave was one of the most unique people I have ever met and one of my favorites. I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with him at the family reunions and my parents’ house. He definitely put a unique spin to this crazy world of ours. I am very sorry we all were not able to get together over these past years. Please know my heartfelt love and prayers are with you at this time of loss.
    With Love,
    Dianne and Family

  25. D.D.WILLIAMSON aka: "Guitar Dave" on June 29, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    DEAR JEAN ANN: I’ve always remembered the kindness of you and David, when I was surviving as a busker in downtown Lawrence. Neither of you ever talked down to or at me, you talked to me. I’m still wearing the belt you traded me for a song to the customers; which i did try to pay for. People remember small kindnesses like that… or at least, they should. I am sorry for your loss. On the other hand, I like to think that David is kickin’ it with John Prine right now; they’re having a vodka & ginger ale, and smokin’ a cigarette that’s, *”nine miles long!”* Forever Love. ( =

  26. Tom King on July 1, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    Rest well, kind Dave. Always a smile and something good to say. Love to you, Jean Ann.

  27. Kim Murphree on July 2, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    Jean Anne….my heart goes out to you. Dave was a wonderful person, and I know he loved you so much. God bless and keep you.

  28. Dennis Droge on August 15, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    Jean Ann, Was in 2/130th with Dave in Marysville. Just tonight was on hill where you and Dave lived. I had always hoped to catch up with Dave again some time.
    Thoughts with you.

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