Gene A. Ehlers, 70, of Zion, IL, passed away December 24, 2020 at Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center in North Chicago, IL.
Gene was born April 24, 1950 in Waukegan, IL to Melvin and Eleanor (nee Znorowski) Ehlers. He was a lifelong resident of Zion and attended Zion schools. Gene was very active with Scouts BSA Troop 63. After serving proudly with the United States Marine Corps from August, 1965 and officially being discharged in 1971, Gene worked at different jobs. He was employed by Johnson Outboard Marine, Waukegan, IL for 16 years as a Bench Inspector and a die Cast Set-Up and Operator. He then worked for a short time at Abbott Laboratory (AbbVie), North Chicago, IL. He received a Certificate in Automation Maintenance and completed Mid-Management Courses from College of Lake County, Grayslake, IL.
Gene received a Purple Heart with Gold Star in lieu of a second Purple Heart, Combat Action Ribbon, Navy Unit Commendation with ribbon bar awarded Combined Action Force III MAF, Vietnam 1965 to 1967 and 1969 to 1971, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal w/three Bronze Stars, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation (Gallantry Cross Color), Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Rifle Marksman Badge. Gene belong to the Combined Action Program (CAP) Unit Veterans Association, Disabled American Veterans, Military Order of the Purple Heart Service Foundation, and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).
He especially enjoyed spending time with his wife/best friend, Susan; Dog and Companion, 'Redmanz'; Family, and Friends. He loved to do Music and History Trivia with anyone. He had many stories to tell, to anyone that would listen, about some of his travels and hobbies such as working with Paleontologists and being an extra in the movie 'Little Big Man'. He also enjoyed going to Auctions, Rummage/Garage sales, and Flea Markets. Gene enjoyed researching and reading about U.S. History from Ancient times to the Old West to present times, Military, and many things in between.
Gene is survived by his wife, Susan; daughter, Jenni Ehlers of TN, grandson, Matthew Ehlers of TN; step-children, Lori (Alvin) Frederich of MI, Melice (Dave) Carr, Canada, Herman (Alicia) Puckett JR of MD, Edward (Nikki) Puckett of MI, Shannon (Ashley) Puckett of WI; brothers Jeff (Melissa) Ehlers and Greg (Cheryl) Ehlers.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
A special thanks to the ER and ICU Doctors and especially the Nurses (who worked tirelessly) for their wonderful care and support, and Dr. John Bair, Clinical Psychologist, for his support.
There are no services planned for Gene at this time.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Purple Heart Service Foundation or Orphans of the Storm.