Eugene E. Gaffner, age 88, of Greenville, passed away Thursday, May 28 at Helia Healthcare in Greenville. Funeral services for 88 year old Eugene E. Gaffner will be Monday, June 15 at 2:00 p.m. at the Greenville First United Methodist Church. Burial will be in Mt. Auburn Cemetery. Friends may call Sunday from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the church. Memorials are suggested to the Bond County Food Pantry, the Greenville First United Methodist Church, the Beulah Methodist Church Camp, or Greenville College. Young Funeral Home in Greenville is in charge of arrangements.
Known to many as “Gene”, he was the son of Emil Gaffner and Edna (Stiegman) Gaffner. Gene was born at his parents’ home in Bond County on February 8, 1927. He was united in marriage with Shirley Young of Highland, Illinois on June 27, 1948 in Highland. They enjoyed over 66 years together. She survives, as do his three children: Alan (Lori) Gaffner and Renea (Ed) Barnes of Greenville, Illinois; and Arlin (Marla Wade) Gaffner of Coppell, Texas.
Gene was the loving grandfather of eight including: Ben Gaffner, Emily Gaffner, Hannah Gaffner, Lindsay (Seth) Strotheide, and Jarett Barnes, of Greenville, Illinois: Matt (Rachel) Gaffner of Moore, Oklahoma; Amy (Chad) McDonald of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma: and Tommy (Sarah) Gaffner of Norman, Oklahoma.
He was the great – grandfather of three: Raelee Strotheide, of Greenville, Illinois; Henry Gaffner of Moore, Oklahoma; and Cooper McDonald, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
As a boy, Gene resided in Clinton County. He attended a Lutheran grade school in Ferrin, Illinois, where his father operated a general store. After his family moved to southern Bond County, he became a student Pocahontas High School, graduating in 1945.
As a young adult, Gene played on men’s travelling baseball teams. He was an avid St. Louis Cardinals’ baseball fan and participated in a Cardinal try – out camp. Gene remained at the try – out camp until the final cuts.
Following high school, Gene attended Greenville College where he received an Emergency Teaching Certificate issued during World War 2. He taught for one year at the Metcalf one – room school in Bond County. After teaching, he worked on farms, at Pet Milk in Greenville, and Alton Box Company in Highland.
In 1951, he joined the Bond County Service Company in Greenville, Illinois, now known as South Central FS. Gene was an agricultural products salesman supplying livestock feed, seed, fertilizer, chemicals, farm buildings, and grain handling systems. He held that position for 41 years, retiring in 1992.
For many of his more than four decades with the Bond County Service Company, he owned the trucks and equipment needed to service the farming community, and was responsible for hiring and supervising employees who delivered and applied the products. During this time, his wife assisted him with the accounting functions associated with his job, in addition to her role as a mother.
During his career in agriculture, Gene was known for his work ethic, as well as his dedication to customer service and quality.
For a number of years in his retirement, Gene recruited and coordinated the volunteers who staffed the Bond County Fair entrance gates.
In his later years and until his health began to decline, he was a member of the Greenville Regional Hospital Auxiliary, making wire frames for homemade wreaths sold at the Holiday Bazaar, and assisting with the homemade apple butter project. Gene was also a Greenville Regional Hospital Health Fair volunteer.
He was a long – time, active member of the Greenville First United Methodist Church, where he served on the Administrative Board and annually assisted with the preparation of Thanksgiving food baskets distributed to community residents. His faith in God was evident throughout his life.
Gene enjoyed spending time with his family, travelling, and spending winter months in Florida.
For those who wish, memorials may be made to the Bond County Food Pantry, the Greenville First United Methodist Church, the Beulah Methodist Church Camp, or Greenville College.
Young Funeral Home
118 E College Ave
Greenville, IL 62246