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Gene Spillman - January 23, 2014


Gene Elbert Spillman of La Crescenta, Calif., died at his home on Jan. 23, 2014. Gene was born in Julesburg on Oct. 16, 1922, the son of Harry and Amelia Peterson Spillman.

He was baptized and confirmed in the Methodist Church at Julesburg. He graduated from Sedgwick County High School with the Class of 1940 and attended Barnes Business College in Denver.

Gene enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942, joining the Aviation Cadet Program as a reserve while still attending college. He took basic training at Kearns Field, Utah, and was sent to Ellington Field, Texas, for advanced flying school. He graduated as a lieutenant on May 23, 1944, and served as pilot, bombardier and bombardier trainer. He was honorably discharged in 1945 with the rank of second lieutenant.

Gene married Loretta “Maxine” Walters on Nov. 13, 1943, in Fort Worth, Texas. Upon his discharge from the military, Gene and Maxine moved to Holyoke, where he flew as a crop duster and gave flight lessons for several years. In the early 1950s, they relocated to California, where he worked as an account manager for the Pacific Telephone Company. Also during this time, he and Maxine became owners of a Taco Pronto franchise for several years.

Together, Gene and Maxine enjoyed raising their children, square dancing, fishing and trailer camping. Numerous trips were made “home” to Julesburg to visit family and friends there.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Amelia; and brothers Carl Spillman and Donald Spillman, sisters Doris Spillman, Velma Morley, Elvera Matoush and Mabel Lundgren, and their spouses.

Gene is survived by his beloved wife of 70 years, Maxine; son, David and wife Deanne of Bothell, Wash.; daughters, Candyce Walker of Castaic, Calif., and Debra Spillman of Encino, Calif.; cousins, Rex Peterson and Max Peterson of Ogallala, Neb.; and five nieces and six nephews.

Per Gene’s request, no services were held, with cremation and inurnment in California.