He joined the Air Force in 1961 and was stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, NV where he became a mechanical engineer.
He took a part time job with Nevada Drive-in Theater, where he met his wife, Elna Zohner. They were married in St. George, UT on November 10, 1962.
He joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1970 and was sealed to Elna on November 12, 1978.
He attended Reagan High School in Houston, TX and received his GED in the Air Force. Gene attended both the University of Nevada Las Vegas and Clark County Community College where he earned an Associate’s Degree in Law Enforcement. He is a graduate of the National Sheriff’s Institute from the University of Southern California. He attended many seminars sponsored by the FBI, the U.S. Treasury Dept. and Las Vegas Metro Police Dept., where he received special training in Bomb disposal, Riot Control, Juvenile Problems, Search and seizure laws, Drug and Narcotics Control, Handwriting Analysis, and Weapons Handling. In addition to these schools, Gene received special training in Budgeting Administration and Jail Operations from the University of Colorado and Central Missouri State University.
He was a policeman on the Las Vegas police force for 11 years. He was chosen to be on the special task force known as PACE. He worked in various divisions: Detective Bureau, Vice and Narcotics, Uniform Division, and Juvenile Department. He was elected as Washington County Sheriff and served from 1978-1982. He completely modernized the department and supervised the building of the new Hall of Justice. He became an Allstate Insurance Agent in Kingwood, TX. Gene retired from there in 2002.
He is survived by his wife, Elna; daughters, Karen (Kelly) Blake and Kimberly (Charlie) Meinkey; 10 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren; a sister, Peggy Hicks of Austin, TX; and a brother, Vernon (Pat) Jones of Houston, TX.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 12:00 p.m. in the Spilsbury Mortuary Chapel, 110 S. Bluff, St. George, UT. There will be a viewing from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in the Spilsbury Mortuary. Interment will take place in the Washington City Cemetery, Washington, UT.
Arrangements are made under the direction of Spilsbury Mortuary, (435) 673-2454. Friends and family are invited to sign Gene’s guestbook at www.spilsburymortuary.com.