First, Eugene R.
Eugene R. First, 95, died Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013. Funeral services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at Cedar Memorial Park Chapel of Memories. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Cedar Memorial Park Funeral Home.
Eugene was born Nov. 12, 1917, in Monticello, Iowa, to Walter E. and Margaret (Reuter) First. He graduated from Monticello High School and worked on the family farm until being drafted into the U.S. Army in 1941. Eugene proudly served as a staff sergeant in Company D, 1st Infantry Regiment, 6th Infantry Division. He served in the Pacific Theatre, 11 months on New Guinea and 15 months on Luzon, Philippines.
Eugene met his wife, Kathryn L. Simmons, while recovering from battle injuries at Kennedy General Hospital in Memphis, Tenn. They were married April 29, 1946.
He was a co-owner of Eby’s Sporting Goods and owned First Avenue Hobbies for 15 years until his retirement. He was a great fan of Iowa Hawkeye sports and the Chicago Cubs.
Eugene is survived by his sons, Thomas of Cedar Rapids and James (Peggy) of Columbus, Wis.; daughter, Kathy of Marion; brother, Robert of Monticello; and grandchildren, Elliot (Jeliel Peña) of Fitchburg, Wich., Virginia of Glendale, Wis., and Elizabeth and Darcie of Columbus, Wis.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Kathryn; brother, Clifford; and his parents.
Published Jan. 31, 2013 in The Gazette