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Eugene Brakel a Libertyville resident since 1963 Eugene Brakel, 85, put his golf clubs away for the last time on Dec. 24, 2012, and went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The cause of death was complications from influenza. Gene was born on Jan. 30, 1927, in Eugene, OR. He was the youngest child of Leslie and Edna Wooton Brakel. He served in the Navy aboard the USS Okaloosa and the USS Pawcatuck as a signalman. He served for two years, 10 months and 28 days. He met Velma Jean Wigent while attending Michigan State University. Velma and Gene were married in 1950, while they were both undergraduate students. During their 62 years of marriage, they saw times of happiness and times of sadness, times of joy and times of sorrow; but through it all they shared and enjoyed much love. Gene retired in 1987 after 35 years in education: 11 years as an art teacher and counselor in Michigan and 24 years as a counselor and the guidance director at Libertyville High School. He served as a Libertyville village trustee from 1981 to 1987. He was a life member of the National Education Association and several organizations related to golf, the environment and conservation. In addition to his wife, Velma, Gene is survived by two daughters and three sons, Lynn (Charles) Chaumont of Mittie, LA, Paul (Janet Severensen) Brakel of Lindenhurst, IL, Ann Rooney of Kingman, AZ, Bruce (Diana Irwin) Brakel of Waterford, MI and Jon (Becky Beyersdorf) Brakel of Wheeling, IL. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter, Meris Chaumont of Houston, TX, Alida Guzzetta of Houston, TX, Claire Packer of St. Cloud, MN, Matthew Brakel of Lindenhurst, IL, Francis Rooney of Denver, CO, Padraic Rooney of Redmond, WA, Sean Rooney of Kingman, AZ, Kelsey and Kiralyn Brakel of Waterford, MI, Maddisen Brakel of Wheeling, IL and Olivia Green of Las Vegas, NV. Gene was preceded in death by his sister, Charlotte; brothers, Burgess and Robert Brakel; daughter, Janice Brakel; and grandson, Daniel Brakel. A private memorial service will be held for family and close friends on Jan. 12. In lieu of flowers, please take a swing for Gene the next time you're on the golf course.
Published in Chicago Suburban Daily Herald on Jan. 6, 2013
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