Dennis J. Gaines

Dennis J. Gaines, 65, of College Station, passed away on Thursday, December 26, 2019.

Cremation services are in the care of Callaway-Jones Funeral and Cremation Centers, Bryan-College Station.

Express condolences at



  1. It is with deep sorrow that I write this. Dennis was a good friend, poet,performer and a good cowboy. In his younger years he worked on the Matador. I am proud to have known him and worked with him.

  2. Dennis had more energy than a pack of border collies on crack. We always enjoyed working together. The world was better with him in it.

  3. What a dear friend and performer. We shared the stage and many great moments just visiting over the years. Dennis was always entertaining and always friendly to his colleagues and fans. We’ve lost another good one. Peace and comfort to you in a much better place my friend!
    Jeff Gore

  4. A fine cowboy, a fine poet and a fine man.
    Dennis had soooo much energy on stage. If you were the entertainer following him the audience was already wore out! LOL!
    We will meet you at the throne Dennis.

  5. Dennis was a kind huge hearted man and one of the things I absolutely loved about him is that when you were talking to him he was listening to you. He was not looking around for the next person. He will be greatly missed.

  6. Besides being a fantastic entertainer, Dennis was friendly, well mannered, intelligent and down to earth. He was a great ambassador for cowboys.

  7. My prayers to all of the family and friends. You can be so thankful that he left such a bright spot on this earth and shared his talent with so many. A God given treasure to us all.

  8. I called Dennis my Big Little Brother and one of the best friends I’ve ever had. I already miss our weekly phone talks. I can imagine that when he sat down at the Heavenly Banquet for the first time, his first question was “What kind of pie do you have?” I can imagine him, Ed Stabler and Clay Lindley keeping things lively around The Father’s Throne.

  9. We met Dennis in Matador when he moved there to work at the ranch. He dined at our home many times and was a memory we always cherished. He was always a gentlemen and respected for his work and kindness. I was fortunate to have been asked to illustrate his first book I could hardly believed he asked me. I’m saddened I didn’t know he was ill and hadn’t touched base with him all these years. Delightful that we knew Dennis Gaines he certainly gave us many fun memories.
    Teresa & Brent Whitaker

  10. Evev though we knew Dennis briefly, it was surprising that at some time, we lived in the same area. At Accel, my husband was wearing one of my old Meadow Village tshirts, where I taught, and Dennis said he had heard of that school. To our surprise, he did know about that school and John Jay HS., the aree where we lived. Our sincere condolences and prayers for the family. Lester and Cynthia Soucie.

  11. Dennis first came to the Cochise Cowboy Gathering in 1999 and was a Featured artist at nine Gatherings. I remember walking down the hall at the 2002 Gathering when a rope settled over my head and I turned to see Dennis with that great big grin. He often stayed with Ellie Caulfield, and every time she came to visit, she would ask about Dennis. He was a great entertainer and to him there were no strangers, just new friends. I will miss him and he will be in our prayers. I can’t even imagine how God is dealing with his story-telling….

  12. My husband Bob and I were introduced to Western entertainment when we moved to Arizona and attended Cochise Cowboy Poetry & Music Gatherings in Sierra Vista. We were asked if we would be Hosts for one of the performers. In Sierra Vista all the performers stayed with families instead of Hotels in order for them to have less expenses. It was the first time that Dennis performed in Sierra Vista. As it turned out Dennis stayed with us every time that he was performing in our town.
    We were blessed to have him with us. During these years we visited with him in Kerrville, Texas and enjoyed the introduction to Hill Country. Dennis was around the same age as our three children and we treasured him as much as family. Dennis was a great entertainer and a wonderful, cherished friend.

  13. It’s fall now, and the cool, clear breeze reminds me of the Texas Hill Country. Although a Rio Grande Valley girl, fifty years will be marked in 2021 since my family relocated to Kerrville, Texas. The Rio Grande Valley Livestock Show was a special event for my family…not so much for me. I was the “inside” daughter. The “outside” daughter was my beautiful, quiet, and fair-skinned sister with beautiful, long glistening tresses of thick auburn hair…the kind that poets write about. She was the FFA QUEEN, the 4-H grand champion of two animal husbandry entries, the Texas State queen of a breed of cattle, the family gardener, and a cook and breadsmith that delighted in sharing her kitchen with Dennis. Not too long ago I shared with a pair of teenage sisters that she, my only and one-year-older sister, spoke firmly and perturbedly once to me in high school. I am inhabiting the 6th decade of my life and reverence this sister more than ever. God saved her from being thrown from a horse who landed on her, she lost twin daughters at birth, she endured the unfaithfulness of a spouse, lost the father of her children to a massive heart attack, raised and supported these children financially almost singlehandedly, and married a cowboy destined for the stars who had lost her once on life’s trail and was certain to not let it happen again. But he was taken down by three life-threatening, financially and professionally debilitating bouts with cancer. The cowboy became a brother to me. My sister, the poet-inspiring red-head, deeply loved Cowboy Dennis, and all his loving gestures to her family we do treasure. Dennis was an humble man, not too different from my own husband. But Dennis was a family man come lately, from all I observed and heard about across their long courtship and all too brief marriage. Dennis loved a good feed. If I ever heard about ANYthing Dennis did “on the hill” where half our family lived, it was his feeds. It didn’t take but one excuse to pull out the cast iron pots and pans, the inside kitchenware, or his county fair, award/winning recipes, and he and my sis were putting on the feed for any and all who showed up on their doorsteps. I know how many events across the years I missed because mom or dad told me about every one of them. They loved Dennis. When he and Karen reconnected after a 20 year interlude, life had dished out a bunch of grief already for them both, but they were thrilled to have another go at it. Right off the bat, two weeks after they started dating, she had him call me to see if he could MC the MusicFest events I produced for three consecutive years on behalf of the Rio Grande Children’s Home. He never billed us for all those years and did a masterful job each and every time. He and Karen were roaming souls who loved America and the promises of this amazing country. Both committed to live ethically and responsibly and quietly while both dreamed of Dennis’ successes down life’s trails. Dennis built relationships with each of us in his unique way. But life was tough on Dennis and his health. This time last year, I received my last few phone calls from Dennis when he was battling his final stages of cancer. I don’t know why we can’t find a cure for cancer and stop the debilitating emotional and physiological impact of radiation and chemo to hopeful patients like Dennis. Those treatments just seem to make Pharma and those big red brick medical facilities grow bigger and bigger around the Houston area. When Dennis passed away one month before my dad, and then Covid hit our country on its way to intimidate the world, I have begged the Lord to come quickly. The long and hard suffering of any one person in a family is challenging enough, but to see suffering’s devastation across our land and around the world, makes THIS believer in Christ my Savior fall humbly on my knees and ask the Lord to come quickly. For you see, I believe Christ is God’s only son, brought into the world to save us from our sins. As we move across time and space this fall with an election looming on the horizon in less than a week, our national holiday of Thanksgiving, and a Christmas season unlike any the world has seen, I pray that each reader of tributes to Dennis Gaines turns back to God deeply committed to seeking the Lord’s will for their lives while praying for this land that Dennis loved and my amazing sweet sister loves so much. God bless each of you. Dennis told me that our family was the only family he ever had and we ALL loved him so very much. My closing thoughts are, in fact, that in the Lord’s providence, God chose to not allow Dennis or Dad to suffer longer or live through this heart breaking and disease riddled year.


Due to the construction on S College Ave our facility is only accessible via Dellwood St. Please refer to this map for reference. Dellwood St can be accessed via Cavitt Ave and Texas Ave.

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