Eugene (Gene) H. Farnsworth, age 79, passed away peacefully at Rose Arbor Hospice with his loving wife, Sandy, by his side on Feb. 27, 2011 after a long and hard fought battle with congestive heart failure. Gene was born Oct. 9, 1931 in Piedmont, South Dakota, the son of John and Elin (Bratt) Farnswoth.
He graduated from Deadwood High School, Deadwood South Dakota in 1949. After graduation, he worked for the Black Hills Power and Light Company. He worked on the crew that brought electricity to Mount Rushmore so the faces could be lit up at night.
Gene proudly served his country during the Korean War in the U.S. Navy from Jan. 1951 to Nov. 1954. Most of that time was served aboard the U.S.S. Carter Hall LSD 3. He was honorably discharged as a Bosun Mate 2nd Class. Gene was a member of the American Legion Hice-Shutes Post #170 and The V.F.W. in Marcellus.
Mr. Farnsworth worked for 45 years in the electric power line business and was well respected by his peers. He worked several years for Clifton Engineering Co. in Three Rivers and then at Fruit Belt Electric Coop. in Cassopolis, MI. He retired in 1994 from Fruit Belt Electric as Operations Manager. Gene was a former member of the National Management Assoc., Cass County Chapter, was an ALBAT instructor for five years, served on various committees for the ALBAT program, held offices in M.E.C.O.A, and also was on the committee that determined the curriculum for the Alpena College lineworkers course. A few years after his retirement, Gene and his friend, Wayne Goodwin, began a consulting business called G/F Powerline Design. He really enjoyed doing this kind of work and retired for the second time in the Spring of 2010.
Gene enjoyed golf, hunting, fishing, gardening and cooking. He also enjoyed carpentry work and has built five houses, including the home in which he and his wife lived. In the past, Gene was very active in bowling and had been on several leagues. He is a former director of the Three Rivers Mens Bowling Association and had been a certified lane inspector. Most of all, he treasured spending time with his wife and family.
Surviving are his loving family, wife, Sandra (McGlothlen) Farnsworth, three daughters, Pamela Balbas of Boise, Idaho, Valerie (William) Madison, of Aurora, Oregon, and Denise Farnsworth, of Kalamazoo, MI. Four grandchildren, Angela (Brian) Graves, of Boise, Idaho, Brett Berning, of San Francisco, CA., Jeni (Justin) Phelps, and Crystal (Brady) Laurance of Aurora, Oregon. Four great-grandchildren, Trinity, Caira, Maxwell and Brayden. Also surviving are one brother, Melvin (Billie) Farnsworth, of San Jose, CA., sisters, Delores Williams of Gillette, Wyoming, and Shreda Hartmann of Rapid City, South Dakota, many nieces and nephews, cousins, in-laws and several very special and dear friends.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents and one brother, Elmer.
Per his wishes Gene had been cremated and a memorial service is scheduled for a later date at the Hohner Funeral Home.