Bend, Oregon – It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my husband, Loren Gene Waddell on July 29, 2022 in Bend, Oregon. He was 93.
Gene was born March 23, 1929 in Decatur, Illinois to Loren Thurman Waddell and Elsie Elizabeth Gasaway Waddell. Gene spent his early years in down-state Illinois in the small town of Mt. Pulaski. He excelled in school and sports at Mt. Pulaski High School. After High School, Gene served in the Army and then Gene attended the University of Illinois graduating with honors with a degree in Journalism. Gene was a life-long Illini fan and would often break into the Illini fight song. He proudly wore the “Block I”.
Gene commenced his work/career life at a young age. He was always employed, starting with an early morning paper route, working at the drug store in Mt. Pulaski, and working various summer jobs; one summer stint on the railroad and another as a traveling photographer. In Champaign, while attending university, Gene worked for Lloyd Eichorst Autos, becoming in his senior year, the sales manager at the dealership. After graduating, Gene went to work for the Barber-Greene Company in Aurora, IL, then moved to Muscatine, IA to take the position of sales director for The Prime Mover Company, HON Industries, and was soon promoted to the position of CEO of The Prime Mover Company. Gene retired in 1992 enjoying winters in Tucson, AZ and summers in Bend, OR.
Gene was a man who pursed his passions which included flying and golf. It was in Muscatine that Gene received his Pilot’s License and Instrument Rating. He often flew family and friends to destinations across the US piloting his Cessna 180 “3378C” saying it was just the right airplane to accommodate four persons and golf clubs.
Gene always had a golf game on his schedule. Gene belonged to several golf clubs including Geneva Country Club in Muscatine, Tucson Country Club and Ventana Canyon Country Club in Tucson, and Widgi Creek Golf Club in Bend. Over his golfing lifetime, Gene scored five Holes-In One, several Eagles, shot his age several times in his 80’s, and brought home trophies when he entered tournaments. Finishing the 18th hole was not the end of his golf outing. Gene then headed to the 19th hole for a card game and if he couldn’t find any pitch players, he taught the game to his companions. Yet passions of flying, golf, music, dancing, books, stories, news, jokes, stocks in good American companies, the perfect martini, and great friends were distant seconds to his love of family. Family was foremost in his heart.
Gene is survived by his wife, Denise, children Nancy Raabe and husband Mark of Belmont, CA; David Waddell of Lisle, IL; Barbara Faherty of Melbourne, FL; and step-daughter Stacy Scott of Sperryville, Va. Gene is also survived by his treasured granddaughters April Waddell Falco, Angela Waddell Hanni, Danielle Faherty Keane, Taryn Faherty, and Lauren Raabe Malfatti, also three special greatgrands, Lacey Falco, Madelyn Waddell, and Juliette Keane. Gene is also survived by his sister Kathy Vil and husband Pascal of Springfield, IL. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Donald Waddell and his sister Donna Small.
A Remembrance Service for Gene will be held on August 26, 2022 at the Elkai Woods Lodge at the Widgi Creek Golf Course in Bend, OR. Open House will be from 2:00 – 5:00 with the service at 3:00. Memorial contributions may be made to Folds of Honor, Department #13 Tulsa, OK 74182.