Charles Eugene “Gene” Valentine, 98, North Manchester, joined his wife and son at the gates of heaven on April 11, 2023. The only son of six children, Gene was born May 5, 1924, in Wells County, Indiana, to Rosil L. “R.L” and Nellie (Stahl) Valentine.
Gene enjoyed basketball, softball, and fishing growing up, but he especially looked forward to church camp each summer. Gene was in the United States Army from 1943 to 1946 as a non-combatant, working as a surgical technician in a military hospital in Europe until he was honorably discharged. Gene then worked at Freuhauf Trailer as a pressure welder and supervisor of the paint shop and tank line for the next forty-one years until his retirement in 1986.
Gene met his soulmate and best friend, Helen JoAnne Newcomer, shortly after returning home from the Army. The two were wed on February 14, 1948, at Lincolnshire Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne. During their nearly sixty-four years of marriage, the couple was blessed with a son, David. While David was still young, the family enjoyed camping as they traveled around the country. Before JoAnne passed away on December 25, 2011, Gene and JoAnne had visited most of the United States and Canada. They also delighted in their trips to Australia, New Zealand, and England. For their fiftieth wedding anniversary, they traveled to Arizona where they developed an interest in miniature horses and returned home with two. Gene and JoAnne continued growing their herd until they eventually loved and cared for nine. They also had a small covered wagon that the horses pulled during parades. While still living in Fort Wayne, Gene was a member of the Lions Club. He liked to relax by fishing, playing golf, and making toys and other wood crafts.
After the loss of his wife, Gene’s son passed away on December 3, 2012. Through these incredibly painful times, Gene found comfort in the Lord and at the Manchester Church of the Brethren. Despite his sorrow, Gene always remained a kind, compassionate man of his word. He was the essence of a true gentleman, always patient, humble, caring, and devoted.
The loving memory of Gene Valentine will be forever cherished by his grandson, Seth Valentine, Milford, Michigan; great-grandchildren, Luke and Lydia Valentine; daughter-in-law, Viv Valentine, Bluffton, South Carolina; and his many nieces and nephews. Gene was preceded in death by his parents; wife, H. JoAnne Valentine; son, David E. Valentine; and sisters, Leone Schaefer, Ione Getty, Crystal Burgette, Betty Dommer Kast, and Nellie Marie Stalter.
A celebration of Gene’s life will begin Saturday, April 15, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. at Timbercrest Chapel, 2201 East Street, North Manchester, Indiana, with Pastor Kurt Borgmann officiating. Burial will be at Spring Creek Cemetery, 8220 South 700 East, Pierceton, Indiana.
The family of Gene Valentine has entrusted McKee Mortuary with care and final arrangements.