My heart goes out to you Naomi. He wasa great friend and mentor.
You always have been and always will be one if the strongest women I know!!! Uncle Gene was the sweetest man!! He is laughing with dad now in Heaven!! We will see them one day soon!! I love you to the moon and back!!!
Naomi, I couldn't believe when I saw this in the paper about Gene. Sweet, funny, kind Gene. He touched so many lives, including mine. Love you so, please let me know if ever you need a Hug or a shoulder. Always, Jan Poslick
Gene served on our board of directors for many years as Training Director of our non-profit group, the Okla Predictive Maint. User's Group, which is group of about 50 manufacturers & 500 people. As president of OPMUG, I just wanted to express our gratitude for Gene. Gene's enthusiasm and energy was unmatched. He was always challanging us to do our best. He increased our training schedule 300% when he took over! Gene was always so-o-o kind in words and in heart. He was just a delight to be with and one of those people you truly enjoyed being around. I can't imagine how much a better place Gene made the world. In our little part of the world, Gene made life wonderful just by being here with us. We will truly, truly miss him.
Very sorry for your loss. We will miss Gene at the gym with the rest of us regular "oldies".
Gene was able to see humor in just about everything. My first encounter with Gene that locked us in as best friends was in the second grade at Capitol School. Miss Schmidt kept us after school for laughing during class. As we discovered we had the same brand of humor, we laughed together at everything. And while detained in her class after school, we tried, but could not hold back laughing even at how she would scurry about cleaning and straightening the classroom. Well that launched a lifetime of friendship filled with laughter. We were close as brothers through the years, but without the arguments and fighting. I can't recall a single time when we had a disagreement.
His family was my adopted family, as I was treated as one of them. To me they were as ideal as Ozzie and Harriet, June and Ward Cleaver, and Donna Reed and Carl Betz. It was fun watching Betty pretending to play that player piano.
Gene helped smooth out the turbulent school years for me, as he was someone I could discuss everything with, including classwork and girls. One night we were stuck on a homework assignment and were wondering who we could call for help with it. Our conversation went something like, “Yeah but if we call too many people, we might disturb their supper, and they would all get mad and storm the house with torches, yelling and throwing rocks, so we better not call anyone.” Then there was the night a bunch of us were trying to get a bookkeeping homework assignment done, even though Miss Reed said that was the last day we could turn it in. When we finished it just before midnight, we took it to her apartment to turn it in before the day was officially over. She was angry that we woke her up, and said “It'll work this time, but never again.” She admitted later that we always made her laugh even though she didn't show it. One December night we took his jeep out to the country to cut Christmas trees. We got the trees, but we also got stuck on a wet dirt road. After finding a house to make the phone call he dreaded to make, his dad came to rescue us.
We didn't just pal around together, we also worked together. When Gene was working as a soda jerk at Gilt Edge, formerly Terrill's, and I was working as a grocery sacker at Niles Food Market, he helped me get a job working with him. It meant a raise from 55 cents an hour to 60 cents. But more than the financial reward, it was fun working together, and even more fun ganging up on Pearl Griffin who somehow put up with our teasing. After graduation, when I was working at the radio station, I helped Gene get a job that opened up there. In addition to increasing our income to $1.15 an hour, a whole new world of fun opened up for us, as we made the radio station our own personal playground. Among other things, we got the station to challenge the Guthrie Police Department, Fire Department, City Council and School Board to go-kart races at Sammy's go-kart track at the west end of the viaduct. We would be reporters, phoning in reports during the flood from the 9th Street Bridge, while back at the studio we would play records like “Cry Me a River” by Julie London, and Frank Sinatra singing “River Stay Away from My Door.” On Wednesday nights he had a big-band show he called “The Blue Room.” And to get himself in the mood, he replaced the light bulb in the ceiling with a blue colored light bulb. We commuted to Central State College together with Ila Faye, Billy Barnhart, Jimmy Yates and Jon Harrison. By the way, our tuition was a whopping $5.25 per credit hour
I didn't realize until just a couple of years ago that he should have taken Miss Bradshaw's art class in high school, as his amazing art talent blossomed through the pastels he recently created that could rival anything you'd see in an art gallery.
I always knew that Gene was better looking than me, had the courage to dance at Teen Town when I didn't, drove a big Oldsmobile convertible, and was popular with the girls. But I was never jealous, and he never got the big-head. He was humble and always just plain Ol' Gene that everyone felt comfortable with, and called their best friend.
We grew up in the best time in the history of the world…in the best little town in the world to grow up in…and were members of the best class that ever came through the Guthrie school system. And Gene, with his great sense of humor, humility, kindness and friendship, made it even better for all of us.
Naomi,so sorry to hear about Gene.
You are in our prayers and as always in our thoughts.
Glenn and Donna
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Please accept my sympathy for your loss of Gene. He was a remarkable colleague, friendly each time we met in the hall. I appreciated his kindness and willingness to be helpful. Although we worked in different departments at school, he seemed like a sweet person when we talked.
Deepest condolences to you, Naomi, in the passing of Gene. I'll always remember the wry wit and sense of humor he had, and the great trips we took together when my brother and I were kids. Wonderful memories. Gene was a wonderful man and I will miss him. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
My heart felt condolences to the Burkett and the Autry Tech Families. I had the pleasure of getting to know and work with Gene in my role at the Oklahoma Department of CareerTech. Gene was a wonderful learner and mentor to many. He will never be forgotten, and will most certainly be missed. You all are in my thoughts.
Every time I think of Gene I smile. We met in 2002 when he came to us (OPMUG) with an idea to improve our training to industry. I thought of him as a great friend over the years, and will miss him. My wife and I have been and will, pray for you and your family for comfort and strength from our Lord.
Gene was my mentor and we shared an office for years at Autry. He was an amazing friend, colleague, & gentleman. His stories and sayings we called geneisms are legendary and made work a lot of fun! He will be missed, and never forgotten. My thoughts and prayers go out to Naomi and the family.
Sorry to read of the passing of Gene. Always enjoyed working with him mostly through Autry Tech. Great guy too.
I'm sad to hear the news about Gene. He was one of my favorite people. I'm sure he will be missed by his family, colleagues and many friends. Rest in peace my friend.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. Gene was such a nice guy and I loved him as much as a good friend can. He was my very first date in 4th grade and I'll never forget him. Sorry for your loss Naomi. We love you! Janice & Richard Case