Elmagene Lorene Rains (nee Kickel) went to her eternal rest on Sunday March 22, 2020. She lived most of her life in Springfield, Missouri where she was the first Librarian for Kickapoo High School, before moving to St. Louis in 2015 to be near her son, Rob Rains and family.
She was born to Letha and Walter Kickel on Dec. 10, 1923 in Opolis, Kansas, a small town on the state line of Missouri and Kansas a few miles east of Pittsburg, Kansas. She attended high school in Carl Junction, Mo. for three years and graduated from College High School in Pittsburg in 1940. She attended Kansas State Teachers College in Pittsburg and graduated in 1943 with a B.S. degree in library science.
She was married to George Edward Rains of Omaha, Nebraska on April 15, 1951 and they had two sons, George Edward (Ed) and Robert Roy (Rob) along with daughter Sharon.
Elmagene was a strong and smart woman. In 1962, when faced with the reality of being a young widow with two sons under the age of seven, she began work as a librarian and later in 1973 commuted to the University of Missouri in Columbia to get her master’s degree in library science.
She started as a high school librarian at Parkview High School in Springfield from 1965-1971, and then left to establish the library at Kickapoo High School, working there until her retirement in 1984. After she retired, she jokingly said she thought Brad Pitt who attended Kickapoo had an overdue library book he had not returned.
She was an active member of EGA (Embroidery Guild of America) and was very proud to have won numerous awards at the Ozark Empire Fair for her needlework. For years, she also enjoyed retired teacher and librarian luncheons and playing Skip-Bo with her friends on Friday nights. Every day until the month before she passed, she did crossword puzzles, read books and the Springfield News-Leader– and watched Jeopardy.
Elmagene Rains is survived by her children and their spouses: Ed Rains (Brenda) of Houston, Texas; Rob Rains (Sally) of St. Louis, Missouri; and Sharon Rains Bedgood (Jerry) of Mound City, Kansas. She truly treasured her grandchildren: B.J. Rains (Karen) of Boise, Idaho; Mike Rains (Lori) of St. Louis; Mike Horton (Karen) of Omaha, Nebraska. She had four great-grandchildren: Naismith and Nelson Rains of Boise, Idaho; Heather Alvarado and Haley Horton and one great-great grandson, Miguel Alvarado of Omaha.
In view of the current situation and regulations, the family is unable to hold a visitation and funeral at this time—either in St. Louis or Springfield. Friends from Springfield can get in touch with Rob (RobRains314@gmail.com) if they would like to be notified about a planned future memorial service. Elmagene will be buried next to her husband George in Maple Park Cemetery, Springfield. The Rev. Nicholas Inman of Marshfield, Mo., who is a family friend, will preside over the small, private graveside service.
Tribute donations: Rainbows For Kids, a children’s cancer charity in St. Louis which her family is involved in. She embroidered items and donated them to several of their charity auctions.
Rainbows for Kids 7221 Waterford Drive. St. Louis, Mo. 63123 or for online donations: CLICK HERE