Gene Richard Thornburg passed away Jan.10, 2015 after a two-year battle with ALS. Gene was born to Robert and Mary L. (Heaston) Thornburg Jan. 29, 1942 in Winchester, Ind.
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He graduated from Lee L. Driver High School, Class of 1960, and Purdue University in 1965 with a bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering.
In 1963 he married Donna French in Winchester.
He worked for 30 years for the United States Department of Agriculture, Soil Conservation Service working in Indiana, Washington, Michigan, Montana and Wyoming. He lived in Bozeman for 20 years, moving to Helena in 1999.
After Gene's retirement he and Donna traveled the United States in an RV and spent several winters in Florida.
Gene loved golfing, dancing, bowling, watching sports of all kinds and, most of all, spending time with his family. He also coached and refereed youth soccer for several years in Bozeman. Gene and Donna loved any kind of dancing, especially square dancing and waltzing. While in Florida Gene gave dancing lessons to husbands who refused to dance, saving many marriages.
Gene leaves behind his wife of 52 years, Donna; children, Lisa Lesofski (Gary) of Helena; Leslie Washburn (Scott) of Gainesville, Fla.; Brian (Carri) of Meridian, Idaho; six grandchildren, Lawrence and Matt Lesofski, Davis and Sidney Washburn and Charlotte and Mykenna Thornburg. He is also survived by his sister, Judy Miller (John) of Dunkirk, Ind. and brother, Max (Carol) Thornburg of Walkerville, Md.
No services are planned at this time. Please visit www.retzfuneralhome.com to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Gene.
Retz Funeral Home
315 East Sixth Ave
Helena, MT 59601
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Jan. 14, 2015