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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Longtime Christmas Bureau volunteers Rick and Joan Haynes honored by donors

Rick and Joan Haynes were staunch supporters of the Christmas Bureau for years. Rick died on April 3 and his wife of 35 years followed soon after, dying on July 2. One of the last things Joan Haynes did was donate $15,000 to the Christmas Bureau.

Joan Haynes’ brother, Robert Wellman, was the trustee of their living trust and included a note with the donation.

“On behalf of Rick and Joan Haynes, who were longtime volunteers for the Christmas Bureau over the years, please accept this donation for the continuation of your program, which they so strongly believed in and enjoyed working, while their health allowed.

“She wanted this donation to be made in both their names, so that your program can continue and prosper in the year ahead … Just know that they truly believe and supported your program with all their hearts.”

Rick Haynes grew up in South Dakota and Oregon, attending school at the University of Idaho. According to his obituary, he and his first wife, Kaye, lived in Illinois where he worked for the Caterpillar Tractor Co. The couple moved to Spokane in 1974 where he worked for Farm Credit Services for 30 years. He divorced in 1981 and married Joan Wellman in 1984. His obituary requested donations be sent to the Christmas Bureau.

Joan Haynes wrote her own obituary, where she recounted her life from when she was born in Spokane and graduated from Rogers High School. She took a job in the mailroom at Northwest Farm Credit Services and over the next 36 years worked her way up to executive vice president before she retired.

Christmas Bureau volunteer coordinator Brigid Krause has fond memories of them. “They were really the cutest couple,” she said. “They went everywhere together. They seemed so in love and loved the Christmas Bureau.”

Rick worked to keep the toys in the Christmas Bureau fully stocked and Joan headed up the toy room in the back. Krause said they worked hard and were passionate about the Christmas Bureau.

Rick Haynes was featured in a Spokesman-Review story in December 2017. He had volunteered with the Christmas Bureau for 10 years, which is about how long he had Parkinson’s disease. He worked through the tremors and the stiffness to keep the toys moving.

“I have good days and bad days,” he said at the time. “You just keep going forward and take it as it comes.”

Haynes had hoped to return to the Christmas Bureau the next year. “I’m going to stay as long as I can,” he said.

Unfortunately, it was not to be. He had planned to at least stop by and visit the Christmas Bureau last year but his failing health did not allow it.

“It was hard not having them there last year,” said Krause. “We will put their stars on the memorial tree and remember them this year.”


The second quarter of 2019 saw more donations trickle in for the Christmas Bureau, which were set aside in anticipation of this year’s fundraising effort. The donations totaled $18,877.36, bringing the year-to-date total to $34,738.10. The goal this year is $535,000.

The Haynes Living Trust donated $15,000 in the name of Rick and Joan Haynes. Northwest Farm Credit Services, where Joan Haynes worked for 36 years, donated $1,000 in memory of Rick Haynes.

Rick Betts gave donations of $790.20, $760.41 and $416.75 via United Way. The Alpha Nu Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa sent $500.

Rod and Cheryl Rogers, of Portland, donated $200 in memory of Rick Haynes. Drew Eggers, of Meridian, Idaho, sent $100 in memory of Rick Haynes.

Ed and Barb Malesich, of Dillon, Montana, gave $50 in memory of Rick Haynes. Theresa Triebwasser, of Spokane, gave $25 in memory of Rick Haynes, writing “He gave a lot of his time volunteering at the Christmas Bureau.” Cathy Heider, of Spokane, donated $20 in memory of Rick Haynes.

Judith Horton, of Coeur d’Alene, gave three donations of $5 each.