Konnie Baines
Konnie Baines

Obituary of Konnie Irene Baines

Konnie Baines, beloved teacher, farmer, and entrepreneur, died in the early morning hours of Tuesday, November 1, 2022, at her home in Fruitland, Idaho. Konnie died peacefully of natural causes. She was 83 years old. Konnie Irene Hale was born on the Oregon slope, September 3, 1939, the second of four children born to Ronald and Myrtis Hale. Her family moved to Payette and lived there for several years. When Konnie was in elementary school, they moved to Fruitland where she finished her education. Konnie graduated valedictorian from Fruitland High School in 1957, promptly married Donald Rhodes of New Plymouth, and moved to California. While in California, Konnie worked for AAA and welcomed her first child, Jeffrey Layne Rhodes. Konnie was married to Don Rhodes for five years. Upon her divorce, she and her son returned to Fruitland where Konnie eventually connected with an old high school acquaintance, Donald M. Baines of Fruitland. On May 3, 1963, they began their 55 years of married friendship. Konnie and Don Baines managed the Pay-Ont drive-in movie theatre at the Gayway Junction and purchased the adjacent In-and-Out drive-in restaurant. Don's Dinner Den was the name they chose for their new venture. In May 1964, Konnie and Don welcomed a second son, Charles Stewart Baines. Within a few years, Konnie and Don sold the restaurant and moved out to Don's family dairy farm outside Fruitland, where they began their farm life. Shortly after the move to the farm, Konnie took a position with her beloved alma mater, Fruitland High School. There she worked as office and administrative support for a short time. Around 1970, she was tapped to take on the teaching of shorthand, typing, and office practice classes in the Fruitland vocational technical program. Konnie thoroughly loved teaching! While at Fruitland High School, Konnie was very active facilitating the school chapter of Business Professionals of America, as well as being instrumental in the revival of the high school theater program. Konnie's first several years of teaching were under a state approved vocational certificate. In 1992, after 20 years of study and persistence, Konnie acquired her bachelor's in education along with her State of Idaho teaching certification all the while working full-time as a teacher and milking cows morning and night daily. She began teaching an English class for non-college bound juniors and seniors. Konnie thoroughly enjoyed teaching English and American Literature and treasured all her students. She had a special way of reaching those students who were having difficulties in school and life. Her gift was helping them complete their education and prepare for the future. There are numerous testimonies from her past students, fellow teachers and staff of the impact that she had on them, and the influence that she had during all her years with Fruitland High School. Konnie retired after 30 years in education in 2000 and began dedicating her time to the rehabilitation and preservation of the Old Fruitland High School building, of which she was instrumental in acquiring from the district around 1995. Konnie and Don, with the help of many of the members of the Fruitland community and school alumni, started the non-profit corporation Alma Mater Inc. to fund the building's preservation. They invested countless hours and personal funds over the next 20 years to preserve what became known as the Olde School Community Center. Now, much to her joy, the beloved building has become the Treasure Valley Classical Academy charter school. Konnie was very active in the valley and the Fruitland community. She was constantly looking for opportunities to enhance downtown Fruitland and preserve the historical legacy of the community at large. Konnie was also completely engaged in her spiritual community at the Fruitland Church of the Brethren. Her personal writings are filled with her gratitude to God for His generosity with her throughout her life. Konnie wrote countless poems. Often, she would craft poems for greeting cards she sent, constantly remembering to celebrate others' life events. It was a ministry for her. She adored and supported her Beta Sigma Phi sorority chapter as well as professional organizations. Among the honors that Konnie received were Who's Who, among American Teachers, 1994 Idaho Vocational Teacher of the Year, Business Professionals of America 30-year Award, 2008 Fruitland High School Teacher of the Year, Idaho Historical Preservation Council's "Orchid Award," as well as Citizens of the Year from the Fruitland Chamber of Commerce. The most recent honor was the naming of the auditorium at Treasure Valley Classical Academy as the Baines Auditorium in honor of the continued time, effort, and love that Konnie and Don put into saving the building and supporting the Hillsdale Barney Charter School mission. Konnie is preceded in death by her parents, her older sister Myrna (Hale) Branscomb, Donald Rhodes, Donald Baines, and grandson Evan Baines. In addition to her two sons, Konnie leaves her younger sister, Verna (Hale) Brunabend, younger brother, Gary Hale, five grandchildren, four great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. Konnie also leaves a long legacy of service and love for the Fruitland School District, her Beta Sigma Phi sisters, the community of Fruitland, and Church of the Brethren. The family extends a heartfelt "thank you" to all Konnie's friends who partnered with them in caring for and visiting her as well as taking her to the places she could no longer take herself. Funeral services for Konnie will be December 10th, 2022, at 1 o'clock at the Treasure Valley Classical Academy Baines Auditorium, 500 SW 3rd Street, Fruitland, ID. There will be a coffee hour following the service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Konnie's church community at the Fruitland Church of the Brethren, 303 S. Minnesota Avenue, Fruitland, ID 83619. Service Details. Memorial Service When: Saturday, December 10th, 2022 1:00pm Location: Treasure Valley Classical Academy - Baines Auditorium Address: 500 SW 3rd Street Fruitland, Idaho 83619 Online Memory & Photo Sharing Event Ongoing Online Event About this event In Loving Memory Of Konnie Baines September 3, 1939 - November 1, 2022 Look inside to read what others have shared Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in this book. View Tribute Book
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