CALUMET - Gene Barton Small, 68, of Calumet, passed on to join his parents and sister with the Lord on June 29, 2010.
Gene was born on August 16, 1941 in Florence, Wis. He graduated from Marquette Graveraet High School in 1959 and attended Kent State University for two years.
He served honorably in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1960-1967.
From 1967 to 1990, he worked in the growing computer industry for a number of companies, retiring from Seiko Instruments in 1991. He then moved to Calumet where he resided until his death.
Gene is survived by his wife of 47 years, Rae Ann (Smithisler) whom he married in Kirkland, Ohio on June 15, 1963; their daughters, Donna (Jeff) Bunge and Rene Small; and their grandchildren, Aaron, Meghan, Chris and Jason. Also surviving are his sisters, Janice (Pete) Romaine, Nancy (Dick) Toyra; and brothers, Gary (Kaarina), and Darryl (Eileen); a special aunt, Margery Small; uncle, Gerald Hansen; father-in-law, Ray Smithisler; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and June (Anderson) Small; sister, Karen (Jack) Peterson; and mother-in-law, Vera Smithisler.
Gene loved sports and was an outstanding athlete. He played hockey for many years, both in Marquette and California leagues. While in the U.S. Coast Guard, he won the outstanding player trophy for softball. At the age of 15, he ski-jumped at Pine Mountain in Iron Mountain. Gene was an avid Detroit Red Wings, Green Bay Packer and University of Wisconsin Badger fan and enjoyed NASCAR. Gene coached youth ski jumping at Blackhawk in Madison and youth hockey in California.
He was the electronic and fix-it person and often used his knowledge of plumbing, electronics and computers for family and friends.
A memorial service will be held in Marquette in July.
Ryan Funeral Home is serving the family.