Jon Jeral LaBaume of Floydada was born on August 3, 1939 in Dublin, Texas to H.S. “Bunk” and Emma Spikes LaBaume. He passed away in Floydada on January 1, 2020 at the age of 80. He was raised on a poultry farm in Dublin, Texas. He graduated from Dublin High School in 1958, attended Tarleton State College before completing his degree in Agricultural Sciences from Sam Houston State University in 1962. He worked a short time for the US Department of Agriculture Cotton Division being based in Oklahoma City and Austin. In February 1963, Jon took a job with the USDA’s Soil Conservation Service, now Natural Resources Conservation Service. He started in Silverton, transferred to Wellington, and in 1968 was transferred to Floydada as the district conservationist, retiring in 1998. He and Elaine McDaniel met in Silverton and married on October 4, 1964. Floydada became their life-long home where they raised their children, embraced the community and became actively involved. Jon served on many boards through the years with SCS/NRCS along with the Floydada Chamber of Commerce board, the Floyd Co Stock Show Association Board serving as treasurer for 10 years, the City Park Church of Christ treasurer, a little league coach, 4-H and FFA parent volunteer just to name a few. Any activity the kids were involved in, he and Elaine were involved. They loved stock showing as a family and raising pigs, which took Jon back to his roots as a teenager being in FFA and raising and showing pigs.
In recognition of his volunteering, he was awarded the FFA Honorary Chapter Farmer from the Floydada FFA and, along with Elaine, awarded the 4-H Silver Spur from Floyd County 4-H and later the Meritorious Service to 4-H award. In 1995 he and Elaine became charter board members of Floyd County Friends, with the purpose of building a large multi-purpose building for the county between Floydada and Lockney. As a volunteer, he oversaw the construction of the building. The building was completed in 1999 and he became the center’s first manager in 2000 serving in that role until 2016, when his health no longer permitted it. In 1999 the Floydada Chamber of Commerce awarded him the Extra Mile volunteer award for his work on the Unity Center.
Jon was passionate about his family. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Elaine; his son, Coy LaBaume and wife, Deb of Plainview; his daughter Kelli Childre and husband Charles of Austin. The title he took the most pride in was that of PaPa by his grandchildren Harrison Childre and Kate Childre, both LCU students. His lifetime soul mate was his identical twin, Don Earl LaBaume of Ohio. He is also survived by his sisters Ann Haynes and Jane Bell, both of Austin along with numerous nieces, nephews, brother and sister in-laws, 2 step-granddaughters and step-great grandson and life-long friends he cherished.
Coy and Kelli wish to express the upmost gratitude to their mom, who has taken the most excellent care that anyone could have provided to their dad. The family gratefully thanks Dr. Cynthia Schlueter, Dr. Sharie Moore, and Dr. Kevin Stinnett for their diligence in Jon's healthcare, caregivers Aracely Casares and Jessica Gonzales, and Area Wide Community Hospice.
Visitation is Sunday, January 5 from 4-6pm at City Park Church of Christ in Floydada, followed by a celebration of life at 10am on Monday, January 6 at City Park in Floydada. Burial will be in Stephenville on Tuesday, January 7 at 2pm at Erath Gardens of Memory Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to Lubbock Christian University, White River Youth Camp or a Floyd County charity of your choice.