Thomas R. (Tom) Faint
Thomas R. (Tom) Faint, 78, passed away on July 23, 2022 at home on the ranch in Sioux County, NE. with his family and his three loving caregivers by his side.
Tom was born on February 6, 1944 in Iowa Falls, Iowa to Robert and Lucille (Heitland) Faint. Tom attended Elementary School in Havelock, Blairsburg, and Webster City, Iowa and graduated from Webster City High School in 1962. He started showing pigs when he was 5 years old at the Waterloo, Iowa Meat Animal Show. In 4-H he and his older sister, Janice, showed pigs and steers at the local County Fairs and at the Iowa State Fair, while his younger sister, Penny, showed horses and steers. At age 14 Tom rode with his steer in a cattle car on the train and showed him at the Chicago International Livestock Show. He said they had a “sifting committee” that weeded down the entries to 35 steers per class and his steer stood 26th! He said it was an experience he never forgot and it sparked his love of the “big show”.
Tom served his country in the Air National Guard. He worked for various registered cattle outfits feeding and working with show cattle for 20 plus years, having gone to every major show across the United States, with the National Western Livestock Show in Denver being his favorite. The first time he went to the Denver Stock Show was in 1963 and he went every year after that through 1986, after which he retired from the show road. He used to say they couldn’t have the Denver Stock Show without him, and he and Zanya continued to go for many years as spectators and to see old friends. But after a blizzard kept them home one year, he grudgingly decided they could have it without him! He was named Herdsman of the Year in 1984 at the Western National Angus Futurity in Reno, Nevada. He made many good friends throughout the show road years, several whom he stayed in contact with throughout the rest of his life.
He met Zanya (Geike) Oldaker when he moved to Harrison, Nebraska to work for Windy Acres Angus. They were married on June 2, 1984. Upon the death of Zanya’s Dad, Herb Geike, in 1986, Tom retired from the show road and he and Zanya moved to the ranch, which they operated until 2020 when Tom’s ALS progressed to the point he was forced to retire. He had an eye for good cattle and was always improving their cow herd. They ran cows and yearlings until 2004 when they downsized and sold the cows, but continued to buy calves to develop into yearlings. More than one auctioneer stated that Tom was the pickiest buyer they had!
He is survived by his wife, Zanya of the ranch, sisters Janice Faint of Webster City, IA; and Penny (Rick) Brisbin of Lead, S.D.; nieces Jody (Craig) Poe and son Shane of Reno, NV; Jamie (Keiran) Breslin and son, Liam and daughter, Niah; sister-in-laws Twila (Kevin) Grote of Harrison, NE. and Julie (Barry) Matney of LaGrange, WY.; niece Nicki (Jay) Kittinger and daughter Josie of Harrison, NE. and nephew Wyatt Grote of Bismark, N.D. as well as numerous cousins and friends and three amazing, caring and compassionate caregivers: Naomi Pelster, Jessi Grote and Kelsey Tighe.
He was preceded in death by his parents, father-in-law and mother-in-law Herb and Ruby Geike and numerous other relatives.
Services will be at 10:00 AM on July 30, 2022 at the Harrison Bible Church in Harrison, NE. with Pastor Matt Parker officiating, with burial at the Harrison Cemetery. Chamberlain Chapel of Chadron, NE. is in charge of arrangements. A memorial has been established towards the award for the champion showman in each age group at the beef show during the Sioux County Fair and may be left at the Security First Bank in Harrison or mailed to Chamberlain Chapel, PO Box 970, Chadron, NE 69337.