Shirley Gene Hayhurst
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Shirley Gene "Sonny" "Opa" Hayhurst, 80 of Evansville passed away Friday, April 5, 2013 at his home surrounded by his beloved family.
He was born August 1, 1932 to Edward and Katherine (Bradford) Hayhurst here in Evansville. He attended Howard Roosa and Hebron Elementary Schools and graduated in 1950 from Bosse High School. Gene always wanted to be a sailor and joined the Naval Reserve shortly after high school and later served four years active duty as a Machinists Mate on the Destroyer USS Everett F. Larson. He often woke up his two kids by saying "Up all hands, up all hands. Clean sweep to and fro, get the corners as you go."
Upon discharge from the Navy, he returned home and in 1957 began work at Alcoa. He worked as a Guard, Kiln Operator, Foreman, Technical Advisor, and Safety Advisor. He often told us that he considered his main job was to "watch out for his crew so they would all go home to their families with all their fingers and toes." The next year he met a cute nurse, Doris Sturm, and they were married on November 30, 1958 and later had two children.
After retiring from Alcoa, Gene became a fixture at the downtown YMCA with his long time friend Gene Tisserand. They had gone to the Y as kids together and started the tradition again. The "pair of Genes" as they were referred to were regulars for more than fifteen years at both the Y as well as the Donut Bank for conversation and solving the World's problems.
Gene had been a member of Garvinwood Baptist, Fairlawn and Aldersgate United Methodist Churchs, Reed Masonic Lodge #316, Scottish Rite and served as president of the Y's Men's Club. He also coached baseball at East Little League. He enjoyed golf and taking people to the Indy500 and Brickyard 400. He was always available for an unconventional and impromptu golf lesson.
"Opa" became a full time grandpa in 1991 and along with "Oma" were wonderful grandparents. Opa often took the grandkids to the YMCA and made gym rats out of them. They usually stopped at Weinbach Cafeteria or G.D. Ritzy's for lunch on their way home. He was a wonderful, wise, funny, and active grandpa, father, father-in-law, and husband.
He was preceded in death by his parents Edward and Katherine Hayhurst and an infant sister, Dorothy Mae.
He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Doris (Sturm) Hayhurst, daughter, Terri (Ron) Kempf, son, David (Debbie) Hayhurst and five grandchildren, Austin, Brian, Sarah, Neal, and Ellen Hayhurst.
The family wishes to extend special thanks to all the doctors, nurses, and techs who kindly cared for Opa throughout his extended illnesses and special thank you to Dr. Browning. Dr. Bhasin, Dr. Cefali, Dr. Jordan, Vista Care Hospice and Home Instead.
Funeral Services will be held at 10 am, Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at Boone Funeral Home East Chapel - 5330 Washington Avenue, Evansville with the Rite of Christian Burial to follow in Oak Hill Cemetery.
Friends may call from 3 pm until 7 pm, Monday, April 8, 2013 at Boone Funeral Home - East Chapel where the Reed Masonic Lodge #316 will hold a Memorial Service at 6 pm. Friends may call again from 9 am until time of service at 10 am, Tuesday.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 5130 Lincoln Ave., Evansville, IN 47715
Condolences may be made to the family online at boonefuneralhome.net
Boone Funeral Home - Evansville
5330 Washington Avenue
Evansville, IN 47715
Published in Courier Press on Apr. 7, 2013