Eugene Marvin "Gene" Felker

Eugene Marvin (Gene) Felker
Founder of Prostate On Site Project, passed away on Tuesday March 12, 2013 at 84 years old, after a yearlong battle with cotricobasal degeneration (CBD), a rare neurological disorder. Gene was born March 4th, 1929 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was a standout athlete in high school in Milwaukee and graduated at the University of Wisconsin, where he was a member of the famed “Hard Rocks” defensive unit of the 1951 UW Badger football team. After graduating, Gene was picked up by the Dallas Texans in the 1952 draft, where he played one season as a tight end. Gene then signed with the Green Bay Packers but was drafted into the Army before the season. Gene held several key positions in the sports industry; he was a scout for the Baltimore Colts and Seattle Seahawks, was founder and president of National Coaching Clinics, served as Vice President of Marketing for the NFL Alumni Association, and as Executive Director of the Sun Angel Foundation for 10 years. He served on coaching staffs at Drake University 4 years, Arizona State University for 6 years, Oregon State University 2 years and the University of Wisconsin for 2 years. Gene was successfully treated for prostate cancer in 1997, an experience which led him to the realization that there was very little being done to educate men about the importance of early detection of the disease. His determination to correct the situation led to his founding of All Sports Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the awareness, education, and annual testing for prostate cancer. The foundation, now called Prostate On-Site Project (POP), depends on The Jerry Colangelo Sports Legends Golf Classic, an annual golf tournament and The Tim Barber Walk for POP and other charity events whose proceeds support two mobile clinics that travel throughout Arizona to provide on-site prostate cancer screenings to men who otherwise may not have had the opportunity. Through POP’s ten years of operation, thousands of Arizona men have been screened, and hundreds of lives have been saved as a result of early detection and treatment. His inspiration will benefit families to come for generations. Gene is survived by Georgene, his wife of 58 years, his daughter Marla & husband Mark Zimmerman, grandsons Casey Ekren and Cory & wife Danielle Ekren and 3 great-grandsons. His sister Trish & husband Sam Barian of Sun City and many nieces and nephews. He will also be dearly missed by the hundreds of friends he made in the sports and business communities. Gene was a man who always left a positive impression on anyone he meet! Services will be held at Gethsemane Lutheran Church at 1035 E. Guadalupe Rd, Tempe, AZ 85283, on Friday, March 22nd at 2:00pm. A Celebration of Life gathering will follow at The Lakes Club House, 5501 S. Lakeshore Drive, Tempe, from 3:00 to 7:00 pm. In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: All Sports Foundation Inc. dba Prostate On-Site Project - www.prostatecheckup.org - or 525 W. Southern Ave. Suite 102 Mesa, AZ 85210 - In memory of Gene Felker. The 12th Annual Jerry Colangelo Sports Legends Golf Classic April 21st & April 22nd, 2013 will be in memory of Gene Felker.

Click here to view the obituary as it appeared in print.

Published in The Arizona Republic on Mar. 17, 2013