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Gene Hethcote - March 22, 2009


Clifford Eugene (Gene) Hethcote died March 22, 2009 at his home in Holyoke. He was born March 15, 1925 in Holyoke to Ruby and Forest Hethcote. Gene was raised at 626 S. Belford, the home his parents built when they were married.
He was baptized in the Christian faith as a young man and attended schools in Holyoke, graduating in May of 1943. Upon graduation, he was drafted into the Army and sent to Bend, Ore. for basic training. From there, he was sent to Sacramento, Calif. to Jr. College and then to Jackson, Miss. and Savannah, Ill. for clerk training. After completing his training later that year, he was shipped overseas to the European theater.
When the war ended in 1945, Gene was shipped to Texarcana, Texas where he typed discharges for everyone but himself—until that day finally came when he got to type his own.
Returning to Holyoke, he went to work for the CB&Q Railroad as a station helper, learning telegraphy. Gene married Gloria Sherlock of Bridgeport, Neb. in 1948 and to this union one son, Tommy Lee, was born. After several promotions, he worked as agent/operator throughout Nebraska, finally ending up back at the Holyoke station in 1955. Gene met and married Shirley Couch in 1955 and adopted her son Kelly Thomas.
Gene was very active in the community, serving as scoutmaster, little league coach, field director for the Red Cross of Phillips County, board member of Heginbotham Medical Clinic, treasurer of the Methodist Church, as well as farming his family’s land.
In 1984, he retired from the railroad, and in 1993, he retired from farming, turning the farming chores over to son Tommy and grandson Trevor.
Gene and Shirley enjoyed their retirement by traveling, attending and participating in craft shows, auctions, spending time with family and friends, and pursuing his woodworking passion in his shop.
Survivors include his wife of 53 years, Shirley; son Tommy and wife Larae of Holyoke; son Kelly and wife Monica of Eagle; grandchildren Trevor Hethcote and Kasie and Mike Smith, all of Holyoke and Maddy and Ryan Hethcote of Eagle; and great-grandson Jack Smith of Holyoke.
He was preceded in death by his parents Forest and Ruby Hethcote and brother Harold Hethcote.