Gene has quite an interesting life story. He was born in 1933, he was one of six kids to Violet and George. They lived on a farm near, Lucan Minnesota were they raised crops and livestock. They were extremely poor. Life was hard, George was a hard man that never spoke to any of the children. George died when Gene was 5 years old. They had nowhere to go, so they moved in with Gene's aunt. There were about 25 people living in the aunts home as she had 12 kids and farm workers living there as well. They separated a large room with sheets to keep the areas separate. It was rough. They did not have winter clothes, they just layered the little they had. They did not have winter boots, so they would put cardboard in their shoes and run to and from school. About 5 years after George's death, Violet married Sandy, George's brother. They moved to a nearby farm and life was grand as Sandy was a wonderful man who they all enjoyed.
After high school Gene joined the Air Force. He was stationed in Japan and the Philippines. When he was on leave he came back to Lucan where he met me. I was 14 and he was 21. I wasn’t allowed to date till I was 16. We would see each other at dances and began dating when I was 16. He asked me to marry him when I was 17 years old. Elroy, my dad would NOT have it. We were married 8 days after my 18th birthday in Arcadia, CA. We then moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota where our 3 boys; Brad, Brian and Brent were born all 1 year apart. Soon Gene became an insurance adjuster and we moved to Arcadia, California. He was offered a position as an insurance agent for State Farm. Times were very tough as he was only paid $500 a month and had to give 30% back until he earned enough clients to be considered a full-fledged agent. We were poor, but we were happy. We moved to Placentia and Gene grew his agency in Brea where he thrived. Our daughter Michelle was born in 1966, 6 years behind Brent.
We have been blessed, as all the kids have always lived fairly close and we have always spent lots of time together as a family. Sunday dinners together is a very common thing with us. We have 13 beautiful grandchildren: Andrea, Scott, Michelle, Jake, Garrett, Brandon, Brody, Jessica, Robyn, Karlee, Paige, Conrad and Sabryna. So far we have the joy of having 6 great grandbabies; Isabella, Blaine, Jordyn, Avrey, Payton and Aspyn. I am hoping for more.
When Gene passed, he was 87 years old and we had been married 64 years. A life well lived.
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