Thomas D. Gault

  • Born: July 1, 1926
  • Died: September 3, 2013
  • Location: Overland Park, Kansas

Floral Hills Funeral Home and Cemetery

7000 Blue Ridge Boulevard
Kansas City, MO 64133
Tel. (816) 353-1218

Tribute & Message From The Family

Thomas D. Gault, age 87, of Overland Park, KS, passed away September 3, 2013, surrounded by family. Funeral service will be Monday, September 9, 12NOON at Floral Hills Funeral Home. Visitation on Sunday, September 8 from 4-7 PM. Burial at Floral Hills Memorial Gardens. Tom was born in Independence, MO, July 1, 1926, and grew up in Lamar, MO, where he worked in his father's meat and grocery store, attended school, and was an avid basketball player since the age of 15. He married Bettye Jo Hoover of Carthage, MO, in 1949, and in 1951 they opened their first restaurant, The Blue Top Café, in Lamar. The family moved to Kansas City in 1956 where Tom first opened and operated Joe's Restaurant & Bar BQ, along with Joe's Catering in 1962, and in 1970 also opened and operated famed Joe's Barn Restaurant in Stanley, KS. Tom was a member of Olathe Christian Church, Leawood Lions Club over 50 years, and served as a member and on the boards of both the Kansas City and Missouri State Restaurant Associations. In 1977 he was honored as Kansas City Restaurateur of the Year by his peers. Before retiring in 1991, Tom partnered in inventing and founding Power Soak, Inc., featuring a commercial food service pot and pan washer now sold worldwide and can be found in the White House and Buckingham Palace. Tom was best known for his warmth, generosity, incredible sense of humor, common sense, integrity, work ethic, ingenuity, and strong sense of family. He didn't know a stranger and was known to give many a lift up through a job, advice, or charity. He always had time for anyone for any reason. He was preceded in death by his son, Gordon Dean Gault. Tom is survived by his wife, Bettye Jo; children Jo Marie Cox, Ruth Gault Allen, Kelly King (Brian) and daughter-in-law Elizabeth Gault; grandchildren: Megan & Nathan Allen, Holly & Jesse Gault, Samuel & Anna Lee King, and 7 great grandchildren. Tom will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by his family, many friends & business associates, and hundreds of loyal customers. The family wishes to extend special thanks to the caring staffs at St. Luke's South Hospital and Park Meadows Senior Living community. Flowers or Contributions to the Salvation Army, City Union Mission of Kansas City, or Lions Club Eye Bank may be sent to Floral Hills Funeral Home. Condolences and shared memories for the family may be left at and also online with the Kansas City Star. (Arrangements by DW Newcomer's Sons Floral Hills Funeral Home, 7000 Blue Ridge Blvd, KCMO 64133, 816-353-1218)

Condolence & Memory Journal

Great memories from the late sixties when I worked for Tom at Joes Barbeque on State Line. As a teenager, I was more than surprised when he trusted me to drive his Mercedes down to the Farmer's Market to buy a load of cabbage, needed to make slaw. I was hoping to catch up with him again some day. Maybe later.

Posted by Mike Wilson - Overland Park, KS - employee   April 10, 2015

the best boss and friend I ever had miss u a whole lot

Posted by lucille mccoart - kansas city, MO - friend   September 03, 2014

I am saddened by the loss of a truly great friend and mentor.

Posted by Rodney Hader, Hader Poultry, supplier of his poultry    February 16, 2014

When you lose someone very precious, no one else can really know all that you feel....But .please know that many caring thoughts are with you during this time of sorrow. Norman Sewing St. louis

Posted by Norman Sewing - St. Louis, MO - Fellow MRA member and NRA board   September 10, 2013

So sorry to hear of your loss. I remember Tom as a great employer and friend. I also remember the great times Jo Marie and I shared upstairs in the catering booking area, as well a scary trip canoeing on the river.

May you memories be large and your tears few.

Posted by Reni Kreitzberg - VANCOUVER, WA - past employee and friend   September 09, 2013


As a former long time employee, there are just soo many memories of Thomas as my boss and mentor, he taught me how to cut meat, the basis for all culinary pursuits. He helped as well as allowed me to develop my skills in the kitchen under the guidance of the Kitchen Manager, Bob Weislocher. There were moments of mirth and outright terror if you had done something wrong and you were under Tom's towering presence being scolded. He usually only had to make his point once, believe me!! I remember once I was speaking with Bob, asking him "So where is the "Old Boy", when he was right behind me...I'm not sure I ever lived that one down, everybody (except me) got a good laugh from that!
Tom was a fair man and I was lucky to be able to work for a man like him. He was the main reason for my longevity there. My hard work was always rewarded, and I felt more like family than an employee. Back then, the restaurant was "cutting edge" with the Buffet even though the cooking was "Old School". It is no wonder that Joe's Barn was a famed establishment.
I have so many memories, eighteen years worth, and I send my condolences and regards to Jo, Ruth and Megan, Kelly and Brian and the numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. He will be remembered very well by me.

Ward Billings

Posted by Ward Billings - Drexel, MO - former longtime employee   September 08, 2013

Bettye and family; We have such good memories of our times with Tom. It is our hope that your own happy memories will help to sustain you in this time of sorrow.
Anita and Clayton Wolfe

Posted by Anita and Clayton Wolfe - Bonner Springs, KS - friends   September 08, 2013


You are all in my prayers. Tom was an amazing infuence in my life. I will miss his warm heart and his practical jokes. He seemed to always know when laughter was needed the most. I will miss the stories he would tell me about his life and experiences. He was a blessing in my life, and I know he was that to countless others.

Posted by Candace Wilson - Overland Park, KS - Family Friend/Therapist   September 08, 2013

I remember Tom and the Gault family fondly, particularly from my campaign days when I would host my fundraisers at Joe's Barn. My condolences to the entire family. He was a special man who I know will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Posted by Nancy Brown - Stanley, KS - Old friend   September 06, 2013


Our thoughts are with you

Posted by Bill & Becky Fulbright - Wellsville, KS - Friend of Elizabeth, Holly, Jess   September 06, 2013

never worked before for such a good boss and caring person treated all of the help like his family always there to help us even through our problms he will be greatly missed you will always be remembered

Posted by lou mccoart - k.c., MO - friend   September 06, 2013