Gene Walker, 1927 – 2017

Funeral services were held Tuesday, Feb. 28, at St Joseph Catholic Church in Jefferson for Eugene “Gene” Walker, 89, of Jefferson.

Father Jeff Schleisman, pastor of the church, celebrated the funeral mass. Eucharistic ministers were Aaron Weddle, Kerry Hastings and Corinne Hastings. Lectors were Kerry Hastings and Jamie Mertz, and gift bearers were Julie Tuel, Christie Pope and David Wolf. Linda Mertz was soloist with Lois Last accompanying.

Interment was at the Scranton Township Cemetery.

Services were arranged by Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home in Jefferson

Eugene James Walker, only child of James and Mary (Field) Walker, was born on April 14, 1927.  The descesdant of Irish/Canadian immigrants, he was raised on a farm near Cooper. As a young boy, he attended Catholic boarding school in Carroll. He later attended school in Scranton and began farming with his father, Jim, in 1944.  He married Betty Jean Shaffer on January 14, 1946, and they had five children. Gene married Kathy (Remund) Weddle on February 15, 1992.

Gene loved to farm and visit about weather and politics. He also was a pilot of a Piper Cherokee airplane, went boating and skiing with his family on weekends and in later years enjoyed restoring old cars and tractors.  He farmed for more than 70 years and was a Garst & Thomas seed corn grower. He sat on the West Central Cooperative board for 20-plus years and was a member of the Brenton Bank board in Jefferson. He also raised feeder pigs and cattle.  In the early years of his farming career, he traveled by train to sell cattle at the Chicago stockyards. A favorite pastime of his was to drive his pickup around every day checking his crops. He also enjoyed spending winters in Arizona.

Gene passed on Feb. 24, 2017, at St. Anthony Nursing Home in Carroll.

He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Jim and Mary Walker; his first wife Betty; his son Jim; and his grandson Erik Walker.

He is survived by his wife Kathy of Jefferson; his children Jerry (Julie) Walker of Fishers, IN, John “Jack” Walker of Guthrie Center, Linda (John) Mertz of West Bend, and Becky (Dave) Wolf of Scranton; his stepchildren Kerry (Craig) Hastings of Perry, Joe (Tracy) Weddle of Minburn, Andy (Kathy) Weddle of Pleasant Hill, and Aaron Weddle of Ankeny.  Also surviving him are 15 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.

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