Don Christopher Rainey of Gonzales, Texas, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend, died on Thursday, January 25, at the age of 87. He was born on April 14, 1936, in Waco, Texas. After his biological parents died in 1940, Don was adopted by his maternal aunt, Lucille (Hendon) Rainey and her husband Otto Rainey. He grew up in Galveston and then Bandera, Texas.
Don graduated from Bandera High School in 1954 and joined the Navy serving from 1954-1958 as a Navy sonarman on a destroyer mine sweeper including sweeping mines in Korea. After his time in the Navy, Don attended Southwest Texas State University, graduating in 1963.
Don went on to teach history and coach in Pearsall, Wallace, Seguin, and Garland, after which he took a brief break from coaching to work as a bulk agent for Enco (now Exxon) in North Dakota. Don eventually moved to Gonzales, Texas, and took on a junior high coaching and PE job before moving on as an assistant principal and later becoming the principal of North Avenue, where he served out the remainder of his career and raised his family.
A quiet, generous, loving man, Don took great pride in his family. It was not uncommon to find Don and Imogene on the road on an early Saturday morning to watch a grandchild play sports, sing in choir, get baptized, or to attend a grandchild’s birthday party or graduation or Veteran’s Day school event. No matter the event, he and Imogene showed up with donuts or chicken tenders to show their unwavering love and support.
Don’s caring, support, and guidance carried over into his professional career as a teacher, a coach, and a principal. He spent many years trying to help students and teachers grow into the best version of themselves so they could grow the circle of caring, productive citizens of Gonzales.
Don attended the First Lutheran Church of Gonzales, serving a stint as the Sunday School Superintendent, and both he and Imogene served as Luther League sponsors for a time.
No matter if he coached you, taught you, mentored you, or led you on the field, in the classroom, in the hallways, or in the church, Don made an impact on the people in the communities he loved. That legacy of unwavering support and guidance can still be seen and felt across these communities.
Don leaves behind his beloved wife of 64 years, Imogene (Burnett) Rainey; his four children Dr. Steven Rainey and his wife Maura; Mike Rainey and his wife Bridget; Susan (Rainey) Beazley and her husband Charlie; and Carol (Rainey) Nesbitt and her husband Monte. He also leaves behind his grandchildren Diego Araujo Saraiva and his wife Allana; Seth and his wife Abigail, Brenna, and Cade Rainey; Robbie, Allison, and Nathan Beazley; Heath, Bryce, and Collin Nesbitt; and great-grandchildren Andre, Mauro, Yuri, and Yohan.
Visitation will be from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Thursday, February 1, 2024. Funeral services will be held 10 a.m. Friday, February 2, 2024 at Seydler-Hill Funeral Home. Interment will follow at the Pilgrim Cemetery. Pallbearers include Robbie Beazley, Nathan Beazley, Seth Rainey, Cade Rainey, Heath Nesbitt, Bryce Nesbitt and Collin Nesbitt.
Friends may sign the guestbook and leave condolences by visiting www.seydlerhillfuneralhome.com
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Seydler-Hill Funeral Home, 906 St. Paul, Gonzales, TX.