Eugene R. Ireland April 5, 1923 - May 6, 2014 BERRIEN SPRINGS - Eugene (Gene) Richard Ireland, 91, formerly of Berrien Springs, Michigan, passed away at his home in Lawrenceville, Georgia, on May 6, 2014. Gene was born on April 5, 1923, in Mishawaka, Indiana, to Eugene, Sr. and Hazel (Mettler) Ireland. On August 11, 1956, he married Carol Burket Simon who survives. He is also survived by daughters, Kathy (Roger) Kesterke of Berrien Springs, Michigan and Anita (Scott) Chapman of Lilburn, Georgia; daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Ireland of Kalamazoo, Michigan; brother, Gerald (Janie) of Windemere, Florida; grandchildren, John (Denise) Kesterke of Grand Rapids, Michigan, Amy (Tim) Kissman of Mason, Michigan, Lauren Ireland, Christopher Ireland and Molly Ireland of Kalmazoo, Michigan; and great-grandchildren, Autumn, Sage, Sydney and Jacob. Gene was preceded in death by son, Jeffery Ireland and brother, William (Evelyn) Ireland. Gene's career was in the field of banking. He began as a teller at the Osceolo branch of First National Bank of Mishawaka, where he met an attractive teller named Carol. When he was a manager of a branch, he was recognized for "achieving internal performances levels which are models for the bank." After 42 years he retired as a vice-president at Old Kent Bank of Southwestern Michigan which is now part of Fifth/Third Bank. He served the Berrien Springs community through involvement in the local Rotary Club, Junior Achievement, the United Way and by serving on the Berrien Springs Public Schools Board of Education and the Village of Berrien Springs Council. Gene always had an interest in speed -- whether it be an Indy race car or a self-built radio control airplane with a 6-foot wing span. His musical interests varied from native pan pipe, to Bob Marley to Lady Gaga, though not fond of Elvis. Gene had a gift of gab. He could meet someone and in a short time know many things about them and remember the person and details. Per Gene's wishes, cremation has taken place and a graveside service will take place at a later date. Memorial donations my be given to your local Hospice agency.
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Published in South Bend Tribune on May 18, 2014