Evans Funeral Home
"Compassionate Funeral Service"
Carrington and New Rockford, North Dakota
701.652.3003 or 701.947.2911
Secondary Number ~ 701.650.9937
Eugene “Gene” Summers
Eugene Raymond Summers, age 91, passed away March 1, 2023, at Golden Acres Manor, Carrington, North Dakota.
Eugene (Gene) was born December 7, 1931, in Carrington, the son of Raymond and Edna (Anderson) Summers.
Gene began his education in Carrington and attended numerous schools as the family moved multiple times following his dad’s work as a welder. He completed grade school in Carrington. In 1946 the family moved to Bergoo W.V, where his dad worked in the coal mine. He attended Webster Springs High School for two years. The mountains, trees, people, hunting and fishing captured his heart – to him West Virginia was almost heaven.
In 1948 the family relocated to Chicago where his dad worked as a welder and his mom Edna worked at Kroger where Gene worked after school, weekends and summers. Upon graduating January 1950 from Central High, Gene enlisted in the Marines and worked at a box factory until he began basic training. He served a tour of duty in Korea and upon returning to the states made the rank of Corporal and was assigned to guard the Naval Headquarters in Washington D.C. He took great pride in his assignment, acknowledging his actions in Korea were recognized by his superiors earning the privilege to be stationed within driving distance to Bergoo. He loved to share the stories of his drives through the mountains.
Upon his discharge, he returned to Chicago where he and his father owned and operated a City Service Station until they sold it to return to North Dakota. He and his dad ran it, the two of them – open seven days a week, closing early on Sundays. In 1960 he and his parents bought a ranch north of Pettibone and began raising Herford cattle.
In January 1976 he married Janice Wright (Unverzagt) and he not only became a husband, but a father to Julie. He continued to ranch with his dad and, with a family to support, he worked part-time at Cenex and began working for Nieswaag’s Milk Hauling from which he retired 27 years later. Gene was very active in the community, serving on the Pettibone School Board, as well as Mayor and Fire Chief. If he had any free time before 6 pm you could find him playing cards.
Upon his retirement in 2002, Gene and Janice moved to Carrington where he enjoyed participating in the book club and events at the Putman House. His favorite travel destination was Texas to enjoy his favorite role – grandpa.
Gene had a very outgoing personality. He will be remembered for his sharp wit, endless repertoire of jokes and sense of humor. As an avid reader with a passion for poetry, a deep desire for ensuring the proper use of the English language, and a vast overall knowledge, made every day interesting. He embraced technology with online access to shopping, was thrilled with Google’s instant information, and Facebook kept him connected to friends and family.
Baseball was his favorite sport and the Twins his team and he had affection for the Cubs as well. During the season there was never a question about what he was watching. He enjoyed watching the World Series virtually with his grandsons and utilized FaceTime to be included in life despite the distance.
Following Janice’s passing in 2012, he moved to Golden Acres Estates where he found the last love of his life Ethel Weippert – 24 steps away door to door as he would say. Ethel’s sharp wit, intelligence, and card playing skills captured his heart. He enjoyed sharing his life with her – which included her seven children and spouses, grandchildren and great grandchildren, as well as Ethel’s siblings and friends.
Together, he and Ethel were tough to beat as card partners, fierce competitors in cribbage. They enjoyed traveling to see family and attend events. He often shared how grateful he was to be welcomed by her children and their families. He was extremely proud of the “New Modern Family’ they created.
Gene is survived by his daughter, Julie Kessel, Atascocita TX, grandsons Chandler Kessel (Emily) Kingwood TX, Carter Kessel, Houston TX, three great grandchildren, Caden Kessel, Charlotte Kessel and Claire Kessel, ‘special bonus daughter’ Debbie Miller (Mark) Heaton, along with Ethel’s children and spouses, son-in-law Don Kessel, aunt Inez Fandrich, Carrington, sisters- in- law Patsy (Norlyn) Schmidt, and Janna Unverzagt, Bismarck, and brother in law Bill (Betty) Unverzagt, Brandon SD, nephew Brian Schmidt, nieces Kelli Shepard, Kelly Brigante, Kim Trudo and many loving cousins.
Gene is preceded in death by his parents, wife Janice, special friend Ethel Weippert, sister Carol DeCarli, brother-in-law Joe DeCarli, and nephew Mark Unverzagt.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to the Foster County Museum or the American Alzheimer’s Association in Memory of Eugene.
Gene’s Visitation will be held Friday, July 7, 2023, from 1:00PM-2:00PM followed by a Celebration of Life at 2:00PM, at Evans Funeral Home Carrington, ND.
His Burial will be at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery in Mandan on Monday, July 10, 2023 at 11:00AM.
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