MENDOTA — Eugene Edward "Gene" Steinke, 92, of Mendota, formerly of Earlville, passed away Monday, April 9, at Heritage Health in Mendota.
He was born June 9, 1925, in Earlville, the son of Oswald and Ella (Weidner) Steinke. Gene graduated from Earlville High School with the Class of 1943.
He married Betty Jean Durr on Feb. 9, 1947, in Mendota. Gene and Betty farmed south of Earlville with John Deere equipment for years before retiring and moving to Earlville, where they lived for 17 years. They moved to Stonecroft Village in Mendota in August 2011.
He was a member of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Earlville. Gene enjoyed bowling, playing cards and he was a drummer in his band, The Mello-aires, for many years, which included Laura Botts and John Eich. He enjoyed boating, fishing and teaching people to ski on Lake Kegonsa in Wisconsin, where Taige Neilsen, Roscoe Goodbred and Gene built a cabin. He retired from bowling at the age of 85.
He is survived by his brother, Stanley (Kris) Steinke, of Rockford, and their children, Gary (Rebecca) Steinke and Lynn Steinke; niece, Dixie (Floyd) Dewey, of Paw Paw, their three daughters, Kim Hoxsey, Debbie (Jeff) Hennessee and Kellie (Kevin Slosarek) Challand; another niece and nephew, Jackie Clausen and Randy Novak, children of Gene’s sister, Ellen Novak, deceased; and cousin, John (Nancy) Weidner, and their sons, David, Steve and Rodney (Kim) Weidner.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Betty; and sister, Ellen Novak.
Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 14, at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Earlville with the Rev. Tammy Anderson officiating. Entombment of Gene’s and Betty’s urns will follow in Precinct Cemetery Mausoleum, Earlville. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of services at 11 a.m. Saturday at the church.
Memorials may be directed to MASS or the donor’s choice.
Arrangements were entrusted to Hanley-Turner-Eighner Funeral Home in Earlville. For more information or to sign the online guest book, go to EighnerFuneralHomes.com.
Hanley-Turner-Eighner Funeral Home
407 S. Ottawa St., Earlville, IL 60518