Gene S. Eilerts was born April 17, 1945, to Eugene Pryce and Anne (Jantz) Eilerts in the family home near Fredonia, Kansas. Gene had three siblings: His older brother, Jay Dee Eilerts; his oldest sister, Nyla Sills; and youngest sister, Connie Haller. At the age of four Gene and his family moved to their new family farmstead near Walton, Kansas. Gene helped his father with their grain and cattle operation. He began driving the tractor at the age of nine. Gene and Jay Dee had their own baling operation during their high school years. He attended twelve years of school in Walton and graduated in 1963 with twelve classmates. He was very active in sports and excelled in both football and basketball. He enlisted in the United States Air Force the summer after graduation and received an honorable discharge in 1967. During his tour of duty, he was stationed at Minot Air Force Base which is 13 miles north of Minot, North Dakota, and Nakhon Phanom in Thailand where he had his own bomb loading crew. Their missions were flown to Ho Chi Minh Trail.
On December 7, 1968, he married Christine Ann Stucky from McPherson, Kansas. They were married in the Eden Mennonite Church near Moundridge, Kansas. They were married 46 years before his death. Their union produced two sons; Jeffrey Aaron born January 22, 1975; and Joel Matthew born January 31, 1979. Gene was preceded in death by his mother, Anne Eilerts; his father, Eugene Pryce Eilerts; his step-mother, Geneva Eilerts, brothers-in-law Charles Stucky and Larry Sills, and both sets of grandparents. Gene leaves his wife, Christine, his oldest son Jeffrey and his wife Tiffany and his youngest son Joel and his wife Courtney, and four grandchildren, Ashlyn, Taylor, Tatum, and Barrett, his brother and sisters, a host of nieces and nephews, and many, many other friends and relatives to mourn his death.
Gene was employed with IBT for 34 years. His career with IBT began in 1976 as a salesman for the Wichita, Kansas, Branch, a few years later he was asked to manage the branch in Hutchinson, Kansas, and then in 1987 was promoted to Area Sales Manager of the Tulsa and Muskogee, Oklahoma, branches. Gene retired from IBT in August of 2010. He enjoyed his years with IBT. He had grown up with machinery on their farm in Kansas and was a natural selling industrial machinery and parts. He enjoyed designing systems for his customers and treasured the friendships he made along the way.
Gene had many hobbies. He collected 1/8 scale farm toys, pedal tractors, and old metal Structo toys that he purchased and refurbished. He also had an antique car, two trucks and two tractors which are stored at their farm near McPherson, Kansas.
Gene was a good provider and loving husband and father. He always said that if his sons would remember one third of what he taught them, they would turn out to be wonderful, successful men. He was a strict disciplinarian and had high expectations of his sons but loved his sons with all his heart. He was their biggest advocate at their football games. He could do absolutely anything with his hands. He could fix anything that even thought about breaking, and kept their home running like a top. He kept an immaculate yard and he and Chris spent many hours outside working together. Gene and Chris did everything together. They took family vacations when the boys were home and then they traveled as much as they could when both boys were in college and on their own with their own families from 1997 to 2010. They wanted to be physically closer to their sons and their families. So after 2010, they put all their energy and effort into building their dream home just outside of Edmond where Chris resides. They began clearing their acreage in the summer of 2011 and moved into their new home October 5, 2012. Gene was a member of the New Covenant United Methodist church and participated in a number of voluntary projects within the church.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at New Covenant United Methodist Church in Edmond, OK.
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