Henry Eugene Garner
Henry Eugene Garner, 84, passed away on Feb. 18, 2019 of natural causes.
Gene was born on Sept. 19, 1934 in Ogden, Utah, the son of Rulon Ballantyne and Lureene Whittaker Garner.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his bother Rulon Grant and his brother Norman James Garner. He is survived by his wife Regina, and brother, Blaine Whittaker Garner (Pat) of Sunset, Utah and Mary Ann Curry of Salt Lake City and many adoring nieces and nephews.
Gene graduated from East High School and the University of Utah. He was proud that he was the first in his family to graduate from college. He was also proud of the fact that he worked through college to finance his education. While at the U. of U. he was elected president of American Marketing (ASSM, student chapter). He was also on the U. of U. golf team for three years and rifle team for two years.
Gene was an excellent fly fisherman and mastered the art of the “doublehaul.”
In 1961 he became an agent for American Credit and Indemnity Company of New York. His territory included the seven Intermountain states. A sales leader for many years, he retired 35 years later as Sales Vice President.
After graduation he met and married Regina (Gina) Wolf on Dec. 28, 1963.They shared fishing and traveling all throughout the European countries plus many exotic places such as Egypt, Turkey, Morocco, and Machu Picchu.
Gene was fun to be with, yet a modest man. His many nephews and nieces thought he was their “Dapper Uncle”. He never bragged of his deeds, but his quick action and cool head saved several lives.
On one occasion, while fishing on the Snake River, their boat capsized. Two friends would have drowned if Gene hadn’t been there to pluck them both from the river.
Another time, during dinner with a friend in a Denver restaurant, he noticed his friend choking on a piece of meat, and quickly performed the Heimlich maneuver, saving yet another life.
Arriving home with friends one night from the Symphony Ball, they realized no one had their house keys. A friend, Ray McCarty, climbed a ladder to force open a second story window, but lost his balance, and fell backward. Gene thinking fast, intercepted him, flipping him around in midair, enabling Ray to land safely on his feet. The only injury was Gene’s nose, which bore a scar for the rest of his life.
While flying from Lima, Peru to Cuscus, the plane had to make several landings to wait for better weather. Each time the plane took off or landed, a native Peruvian would experience seizures. Gene was first to notice, and take fast action to stop the man from swallowing his tongue.
While walking to his office in Salt Lake, a man collapsed suddenly on the crosswalk in front of Gene. And, of course, Gene was there to provide immediate aid.
Most recently, a woman fell out of her wheelchair when it tipped over in a parking lot, and guess who was right there to pick her up? Gene.
Gene even saved a hapless squirrel once, during a picnic lunch when he noticed that it had gotten itself wedged into a tight hole. He pulled the frightened critter free and actually resuscitated it.
Gene learned his work ethic while growing up. His brother Blaine and Gene took care of 2,000 chickens. Blaine made sure that young Gene did his share.
Gene was equally at home at the four Michelin star Madame Point Restaurant in Lyon, France, the roulette table in Monaco or helping his farmer friends with everyday chores.
That is the guy who was Gene. That is the same Gene we have loved for 56 years.
Funeral service will be held Friday, Feb. 22, 2019 at 11 a.m. in the Cedar Creek Chapel, 900 North State, Spring City. Viewing will be held Thursday from 6-8 p.m. and Friday one hour prior to services, both at the church.
Interment in the Spring City Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please donate to your favorite charity. Online condolence at rasmussenmortuary.com.