Gene Arthur TracyGene Arthur Tracy, 78, of Libby, passed away Monday, Dec. 24, 2012, at home.
Gene Arthur Tracy, 78, of Libby, passed away Monday, Dec. 24, 2012, at home.
Born Dec. 4, 1934, in Superior to Frank and Lillian Tracy, Gene first came to 'Kootenai Country' during summer of 1951 for employment with the U.S. Forest Service in the Three Rivers Ranger District near Troy, Mont. Thus began a lifelong affinity for northwest Montana which after numerous family vacations and other subsequent visits over the next 48 years, culminated in his return to become a permanent resident of Libby after retiring in 1998.
While growing up in Superior Gene attended Cathedral Catholic School, graduating in 1952. Shortly afterward he enrolled in the University of Wisconsin-Superior and while there he met his future wife of 58 years, Jean Merlin Tendrup. They were married in 1955. In the same year Gene enlisted to serve in the armed forces, and traveled overseas for deployment in Western Germany as an armored vehicle driver. After his return stateside Gene and Jean started their family, with daughter Lisa arriving in 1957. Two sons, Mike and Donn, were born over the following three years. Around this time Gene embarked on a 17 year career as a talented drafting engineer, obtaining a number of U.S. patents for his beverage dispensing equipment designs. Afterward he partnered a business services firm specializing in obtaining health care industry sales contracts for medical equipment. In the early 1960's Gene moved his young family to live near the Twin Cities in Minnesota before returning to Wisconsin a decade later, where he and Jean remained until packing up for the Montana good life more than 13 years ago.
Gene was often involved with his local community, serving as city councilman (and also running for mayor) while living in Minnesota and, more recently, as president of the Em Kayan village association in Libby, until shortly before his death. During his lifetime Gene was an avid sportsman and hobbyist, aviation, military history and car racing enthusiast, and an accomplished amateur photographer. His best known personal talent was as an expert designer and builder of fine wooden furniture and cabinetry. Numerous examples of his unique and exceptional work are destined to become Tracy family heirlooms.
Gene is preceded in death by his parents, and sisters, Dona Serrano and Mary Sirek.
He is survived by Jean, a brother Jim Tracy in Superior, daughter Lisa Robertson in Houston, Texas, and sons Mike and Donn, of Homer and Kodiak, Ala. He is also survived by his two grandchildren, Molly and Charles Birtwistle, both also in Houston, Texas.
Private family services are being held at a later date.