Eugene “Gene” Walter Erb, 89, of Wakefield died Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020 at Providence Medical Center in Wayne.
Private family graveside services will be held in the Wakefield Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the family for future designation.
Arrangements are under the direction of Bressler-Munderloh-Smith Funeral Home in Wakefield.
Eugene “Gene” Walter Erb was born on Dec. 31, 1930 to Menno and Mary (Grieser) Erb in Beemer. He attended and graduated from Wakefield High School in 1948. In Gene’s younger years he worked as a cobbler and repaired shoes and worked with his dad in a tractor repair shop in Wakefield. After high school, Gene served in the US Army during the Korean War where he was a Drill Sergeant and trained troops in heavy artillery.
Upon his return to Nebraska, Gene married Mary Lou Gensler on Sept. 9, 1954 in Norfolk. He started the Wakefield Auto Salvage and worked as a mechanic until he retired in 1990. Gene also enjoyed going up to the Erb Car Wash every day and taking care of it. He opened it in the early 70’s which makes it one of the oldest family-owned businesses still operating on Main Street Wakefield today. Gene also served on the City Council for years and was very active with the Wakefield American Legion Post 81, proudly attending many funerals with the color guard and participating in Memorial Day services.
Gene enjoyed fly fishing, hunting, golfing and bowling along with camping with his family and friends. In his later years, he enjoyed turning wrenches and spending time with his friends having “coffee” at the Big Shed. He loved spending time with his family and grandkids and rarely missed a sporting event at Wakefield.
Survivors include his son, Jason (Denise) Erb of Wakefield; daughters, Joni (Jono) Kline of Omaha and Lana (Doug) Otto of Lincoln; grandchildren, Derek (Brady) Erb-Woods, Ben (Jordan) Kline, Corey Kline, Drake Otto, Cole Otto, Justin Erb; and great-grandchild, Kennedy Kline.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary Lou; sisters, Helen Erb and Gladys “Pat” Niemeyer.