Eugene "Gene" W. DeWild, 85, of Belmar, New Jersey, passed away peacefully June 7, 2014, after a short illness. Gene was born on May 1, 1929, in Moline, Illinois, to Gerrit and Pauline (Buckler) DeWild.
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He attended Pella High School and Central College in Iowa, and Ottawa University in Kansas. He was a U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War. Gene's theatre career spanned five decades of professional and educational theatre. He trained and later taught at Pasadena Playhouse College of Theatre Arts in
From 1965 to 1981, Gene was a speech and theatre teacher in the public schools of Fairbanks. Upon retirement they honored him by naming the West Valley High School theatre after him. He also had performed extensively in Austria at the International Theatre and the Vienna English Theatre since 1986.
It was theatre that introduced him to his second love, needlepointing. In 1982, as Alaska's representative, he was commissioned along with representatives from each state to needlepoint a huge mural for the United Way Headquarters in Virginia. He was a familiar mainstay in Belmar for more than 20 years, and referred to himself as "the old man on the bicycle."
Gene is survived by his sister, Margaret (Nicholas) Santore, of Manchester, New Jersey; his brother, Kenneth (Marcia) DeWild, of Michigan; sister-in-law, Doris DeWild; brother-in-law, Robert Allen, and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brother, Charles DeWild, and sisters, Anna (Keith) Manning and Donna Allen.
Gene leaves a trail of inspirational memories across the globe. He will be forever loved and missed by family, friends, colleagues and students.
Per Gene's request there will be no services. His ashes will be interred in the Veteran's Cemetery at Birch Hill.
To send a condolence message to the family, please visit www.oceangrovememorialhome.com.
Published in Daily News-Miner on June 27, 2014