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Darin Scott Hook

Darin Scott Hook, 49, passed away Friday, November 5, 2021 at his home near Big Bow, Kansas. He was born December 30, 1971 to Margaret Jean (Winger) and Calvin Clark Hook in Johnson City, Kansas.

Darin was raised in Syracuse, Kansas on the family ranch, and often helped around the Hook Body Shop. Darin always told of being fortunate enough to have been babysat by Lena Molz as a youth. It was at this time that he took an interest in farm toys and a desire to be a big Stanton County corn farmer like his Uncle Dick Winger. He always had a close bond with his Grandma Opal who lived not far from the shop in town. He also spoke often of the enjoyment he had of going to the state fair in his parent’s topper, and getting to spend time with Gary, Joleen, and Tami Hook at their place near Sylvia.

As was common Darin began helping summers on farms around Syracuse and Kendall. At this time he worked for Ab Kitten of Kendall. Through this Darin worked with Neal Kitten and built several pieces of furniture with Neals’ assistance. Darin graduated from Syracuse High School in 1990. It was around this time that Darin also completed restoration of a Blue Chevy Cheyenne pickup that he would have the rest of his life.

He went to West Texas A&M in Canyon, but would complete his Bachelors in Business Administration in 1995 at Oklahoma Panhandle State University. He referred to OPSU as Tumbleweed Tech and the only “real” college anywhere. He would eventually accept a position with Collingwood Grain Co as a Management Trainee. In 1996 while living in Copeland, Darin’s first pride and joy, Kayla Cheyenne (Named after the line of Chevy pickups) came into his life. After some time he moved to Ulysses and worked for Sullivan Inc. It was in 1997 that his Grandma Wilma and Aunt Mary gave him the opportunity to move to their family farm south of Big Bow. The condition of the farm had been rough, but he took great pride in improving the place.

Darin became good friends with Roger Jones. Darin made his first farm related purchase of a 1086 International tractor in order to pursue the opportunity of helping farmers through a custom farming operation. Roger was one of Darin’s first sources of advice for farming, and helped Darin get a solid start. Darin planted a crop of milo with a set of flex planters, and had great success with this first crop. So much so that he purchased an M Gleaner, and later on an M2 that was always a favorite of his to run in Milo. In 1999 while drilling wheat tragedy struck when the news came about the death of Roger and his wife Bertha. In 2000 Darin’s second pride and joy, Tyler Scott, came into his life. In 2000 a good wheat crop came, and Darin involved the whole family in the doings of the farm. In 2001 Darin began custom farming for Rex & Milton Julian, who would be a long time friend of his. In 2002 when faced with the tough challenge of what to do with his life he asked Kayla if he should stay on the farm or leave, and the choice was made to stay. Darin could be frequently found at the Big Bow COOP store, and was very proud of the efforts of his family to bring the community together with the formation of the Big Bow and Johnson Coop.

In 2003 the custom anhydrous application and planting business was booming, and Darin purchased his first and only John Deere Tractor, a 4555, and went all throughout Southwest Kansas to support the family. Darin’s mother and grandmother took a big role in helping with the raising of Kayla & Tyler, and whenever they weren’t playing on the floor of the tractor, they were being shown by example the need of being considerate and understanding. Darin began making lots of friends through his time racing motorcycles in hare scrambles and poker runs. One of the things that was always important to Darin was his cattle, he always looked forward to running stalkers and seeing the family brand go another year on wheat pasture. Darin began building his feedlot which still stands on the farm today.

Darin took great pride in everything he did. He was proud to live in the Big Bow Community, but he was prouder of his children. Darin knew how hard life could be, and he wasn’t going to let the kids grow up and not be able to deal with what life threw their way. He was always present to push Kayla and Tyler to do better and pursue more adventures. Darin did have a playful side as well. He frequently helped the kids build things such as a mini motorcycle dirt track. He pushed Kayla into not only having horses, but to improve her skill in the hobby. Because of speech issues that Tyler had early on, Darin would often sit and work on things in the shop with Tyler, and he was always impressed with Tyler’s mechanical abilities. Darin’s first priority was the education of his children which began at Big Bow Elementary School. He also urged the kids to be part of the Bit & Spur Club and later on the Sunflower 4-H Club in Johnson, and he was always there to help the kids with horses, leather projects, and showing pigs. Darin took a different approach to the horse project; he had the kids break their own horses.

Being that education was a priority of his, he made sure the kids received a quality education and took an active role in their studies. This active role would turn out to be a success as Kayla would be the Valedictorian of her class and go on to get her Masters Degree, Tyler would graduate in the top of his class and is currently nearing the completion of a Mechanical Engineering Degree.

As far as the things on the farm went, Darin always pushed himself to do better. He always challenged himself with growing a wide variety of crops including cotton, but found his best skills to be suited in growing hard white winter wheat, triticale, and other silage crops. Darin himself held many area production records, but even more recently was ecstatic to have grown a 285-297 bushel corn crop.

Darin took a keen interest in history, especially that of his own family. Darin and Tyler frequently went to explore more of the fascinating history of the family and their roles in the formation of the communities of Western Kansas. This was one interest that they both thoroughly enjoyed. Another was fishing and collecting farm toys. As usual Darin pushed Tyler to build model farm toys of the things common to the region. Because of the encouragement, this hobby flourished into something that has produced many business opportunities, and allowed the two to make extremely good friends in the farm toy collecting, Joe Heber and Nathan King.

Darin’s long time companion of nearly 15 years, Michelle Lumley and her entire family became an extended arm of his family. Another note must be made of Darin’s Presidential Appointment as a Selective Service Board member. In Darin’s final years he got into the business of custom cutting, which he did with his son Tyler. He did the best he could to be the best neighbor he could be, and was always ready to help when people needed the help. He had many people that he called daily, never missing a day, and was always an open ear for them. He also frequently enjoyed having discussions with his neighbor Tom Hauser.

Although some may think Darin went too soon, it should be known that he always desired that when his time came he would pass on the farm that stands as a testament to his life. A life that was filled with a never ending list of friends and acquaintances, and enough stories to fill a novel about his character. Let the record stand that he passed at the same age as his Grandpa Hook, and on the anniversary of the death of his Grandma Wilma.

He is survived by his children, Kayla Jones and husband Taylor, and Tyler Hook, both of Big Bow, KS; companion, Michelle Lumley of Sublette, KS; honorary sons, Chase Lumley and wife Jordan of Valley Center, KS, Laramie Lumley, and Tanner Randles of Sublette, KS; parents, Calvin and Margaret Hook of Syracuse, KS; brothers, Kevin Hook and wife Pam of Syracuse, KS, and Deric Hook of Durango, CO; dogs, Patch, Finn, Molly, Grey Girl, and Black Dog.

He is preceded in death by paternal grandmother, Opal Johnston; paternal grandfather, Everett Hook; maternal grandparents Frederick Dale and Wilma Winger; and two dogs, Lucky and Rusty.

Cremation has taken place and details for a memorial service will be announced at a later date.

Suggested memorial contributions are to the Panhandle State Foundation in care of Weeks Family Funeral Home & Crematory, PO Box 1200, Sublette, Ks 67877. Condolences may be left online at WeeksFamilyFuneralHome.com

 

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