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Eugene "Gene"'s Story

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Eugene (Gene) Mager, of Truman, passed away Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato at the age of 70. A funeral service will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, December 5, 2017, at Trinity Lutheran Church in Truman. Burial will follow at Ridgelawn Cemetery, rural Truman.
Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Monday, December 4, 2017 at Zaharia Family Funeral Home in Truman, and one hour prior to the service Tuesday at the church.
Zaharia Family Funeral & Cremation Services of Truman is in charge of arrangements.
Eugene Benedict Anthony Mager was born October 9, 1947, in St. Peter, Minnesota the son of Benedict and Florence (Kahle) Mager. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Annes Catholic Church in LeSueur, Minnesota. He grew up on a farm near Henderson, Minnesota and graduated from Henderson High School in l965. Gene was a l970 graduate of the University of Minnesota, St. Paul Campus majoring in agriculture education. During this time he also was a member of the Army National Guard. He taught agriculture classes at Truman Public School for three years before pursuing a career as a grain merchandiser for Truman Farmers Elevator. He also drove school bus part-time for the Wiederhoeft Bus Service. The career he loved the most was being a painter. He bought painting equipment from Henry Hudson upon his retirement and for the last 35-plus years Gene painted many rooms, homes, and farm buildings in the Truman Area. On June 26, 1971, Gene was united in marriage to Barbara (Gerde) Mager at Our Saviors Lutheran Church in Sacred Heart, Minnesota. Their daughter, Gena, was born on October 3, l980. Gene was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Truman, Minnesota. Gene always thought it was important to promote the city of Truman. He was a city councilman, a Truman Jaycee member for 15 years, Chairman of Trumans 100th Anniversary Committee and involved in founding the Truman Historical Museum. He was currently the president of the Truman Historical Museum Association. During the l970s and 80s he was a shortstop on the Mel Carlson slow-pitch softball team. He enjoyed watching the Vikings, Minnesota Gophers and other sporting events, and he spent many hours fishing, ice fishing and hunting deer in his leisure time with his good friend Joe Metz. The Magers hosted two foreign exchange students while Gena was in high school. Nadine Westphaling Jansing was from Bad Oldesloe, Germany and Sara Blomquist Gustavsson was from Singo, Sweden. Their families have remained in contact, and Gene and Barb enjoyed traveling to Germany and Sweden on several occasions to visit them.
In 2009, Gene and Barb were selected as the Trumans Days Parade Grand Marshals.
Gene is survived by his wife Barbara of Truman, daughter Gena (Eric ) Zehnder of Medina, Minnesota, grandsons Nolan (8), Calen (6) and Bennett (4) Zehnder and sisters Elaine Habeck from Shakopee, Minnesota, Mary (Andy) Regenscheid from Montgomery, Minnesota and Karen (Richard) Rocklewitz from Santa Rosa, California as well as many nieces, nephews and other relatives.
He was preceded in death by his parents, grandparents, in-laws Silas and Irene Gerde of Sacred Heart, Minnesota, his God-Daughter, Christine Regenscheid Allickson and other relatives.
In Lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be directed to Trinity Lutheran Church, Truman Historical Museum Association, Truman Ambulance Fund or donors choice.
Published on December 1, 2017
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