Clair Cairns

Clair Earnest Cairns, 71, died Sunday, January 24, 2016.

A Service of Remembrance was held at 2:00 p.m., Thursday, January 28 at Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home in Jefferson. Words of comfort were given by Rev. David Schroeder of Abundant Life Ministries. The recorded music played was “You Light Up My Life” by Debbie Boone, “When I Get Where I’m Going” by Brad Paisley and “Daddy’s Hands” by Dolly Parton and Holly Dunn. Honorary bearers were Charles Gunn Jr., Scott Fairbairn, Jim Brown, Rich Smith, Nick Foster, Andy Foster and Chop Gibson. Casket bearers were Bill Berger, Les Fister, Dave Walker, Steve Marsh, Pete Loew and Jim Konradi. Interment was at Oak Hill Cemetery in Greene County, Iowa. Military honors were by 133rd Test Squadron, Fort Dodge, Iowa, Floyd Brown American Legion Post #11 and Jefferson V.F.W. Post #9599. Elks Service was at 7:00 p.m., Wednesday, January 27 with Bill Berger presiding.

Clair Earnest Cairns was born March 12, 1944 in Jefferson, Iowa. He was the son of Curtis Cairns and Ruby Reta Raver Cairns. Clair lived in Farlin his whole life. Being a kid in Farlin meant doing your chores first, then playing outside until supper time. Clair attended Farlin country school where he graduated from the eighth grade. He talked often about the amazing Christmas programs they had and that people filled the building to watch. He then attended Jefferson high school and graduated with the class of 1963. During his high school years, Clair baled hay, shelled corn and mowed yards. He saved his money and paid cash for his first car, a candy apple red 1963 Chevy Corvair. Clair joined the Air Force National Guard in 1965 and went to boot camp in Biloxi, Mississippi. He was trained in electronics in a radio relay unit and did radio maintenance. He traveled to Saudi Arabia and Norway with the guard.

On September 30, 1966, Clair married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Boyd, at the Central Christian Church in Jefferson. They were the proud parents of two children, Shelley and Robin. Clair farmed until 1977. He then worked for Star Carriers in Jefferson as a mechanic. He also worked for Harrison Ford for many years. Clair, always a farm boy, was happy to return to farm work for a time as a hired hand for Bob Safley. Clair then got a job at Frigidaire in Jefferson where he worked for twenty-five years, retiring ten years ago. At this time of his life, Clair once again returned to what he really loved, farming, this time with Nick Foster. Through the years, Clair did lots and lots of yard mowing. One of his mowing responsibilities was the Oak Hill Cemetery. He mowed there for more years than can be remembered, and he will be laid to rest in that cemetery.
Clair loved cats and dogs. Goldie, the cat, was his comfort and always napped with him in his favorite chair. In retirement, Clair kept busy repairing anything broken, refinishing furniture, and sometimes rebuilding furniture back to a usable piece. He found great joy in bringing furniture back to use and beauty. The grandkids always said, “If it’s broken, give it to Grandpa, he can fix everything!” Clair’s grandkids were the light of his life. He enjoyed pulling them on sleds with his mower, giving rides on his childhood go-cart and on his little Allis Chalmers tractor. Clair helped the grandkids with their 4-H projects and watched them show animals at the county and state fair.

Clair was a member of the B.P.O.E. Lodge #2396 in Jefferson. He served as chaplain. He belonged to bowling leagues in Grand Junction and Jefferson. For many years, Clair drove his Allis Chalmers tractor in the Bell Tower Parade. He was an officer in the Two Cylinder Tractor Club. Clair always looked forward to the WHO Radio tractor rides. He collected Ertl toy tractors.

He was preceded in death by his parents. Survivors include his wife, Barbara Cairns of Jefferson, IA; daughters: Shelley (Scott) Fairbairn of Prairie City, IA and Robin (Charles Jr) Gunn of Jefferson, IA; seven grandchildren: Brittany, Elizabeth, Hannah, Charles, Connor, Nora and Dylan; brother, Robert (Yvetta) Cairns of Jefferson, IA; and sisters-in-law: Kris (Jim) Konradi of Storm Lake, IA and Paula (Jim) Brown of Gaffney, SC; nieces; nephews; other relatives; and friends.

Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home,

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