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Eugene Lobe

Eugene Ross “Gene” Lobe, a resident of High River, Alberta (recently of Calgary), passed away peacefully at the Southwood Hospice on July 8, 2023. He is survived by his son Ivan (Logan Demerais), daughters Rachel (Andrew Moore) and Hilary (Erin Welte), as well as his beloved granddaughters Julia, Madeleine, Elizabeth, Josephine, and Helena. Gene was preceded in death by his loving wife Betty in 2016, his father Albert Lobe in 1980, his mother Anne Lobe in 1998, his sisters-in-law Joan Lobe in 2022 and Jackie Coulter in 2009, and brother-in-law Gene Coulter in 2021. He is survived by his siblings Vern Lobe, Donna Driedger (Irvin), Bert Lobe (Martha), and Gord Lobe (Pat), as well as Betty’s family – Bonny Hamm (Jake), Louise Coulter-Chomlak (Rick), Calvin Coulter (Jane), and Deb Poulin. Gene will be dearly missed by his nieces, nephews, friends, and colleagues.

Born in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, on August 21, 1940, to Albert and Anne Lobe, Gene grew up in the Osler area, a farming community just North of Saskatoon. He obtained a teaching certificate in 1959 and started teaching junior high in Wabowden, Manitoba, while also working at his father’s Lobe Transport business during the summers. In 1964, Gene filled a maternity leave position in Lamont, Alberta, where he met Betty Coulter at a curling bonspiel and kielbasa bake, instantly charmed by her vivacious nature. They got married on August 20, 1966, a week after Betty’s Nursing graduation, and moved to La Crete, Alberta, where Gene worked as a teacher and Betty as the Municipal Health nurse. They welcomed their son Ivan in 1969 and daughter Rachel in 1971. The family moved to High River, Alberta, in 1972, where their youngest daughter Hilary was born. Gene’s carpentry skills were put to use as he and his brother Vern built their dream home on a piece of land outside High River.

Throughout their marriage, Gene pursued a second degree in Library Science at the University of Alberta and used his skills to establish libraries in Northern Alberta. After settling in High River, he managed the media center for the Foothills School Division and taught at both the high school and elementary school levels. Following his retirement, Gene enjoyed working at Home Depot, where he shared his practical wisdom and became known as “Gene the Machine” with his orange apron. Gene and Betty combined their love for people and travel by volunteering with Mennonite Disaster Service to help communities in need across North America. As a Crew Leader, Gene’s responsibilities ranged from coordinating projects to mentoring volunteers. The MDS project in High River held a special place in his heart.

Gene and Betty had a shared goal to explore the world, and together they visited 96 countries and 49 states. After Betty’s passing, Gene continued to travel but felt that it was not the same without her. He had his preferences, including milkshakes, plain food, and pie. Gene was often sought-after for his extensive knowledge, practical assistance, and his ability to lighten the mood with his sly wit and mischievous chuckle. He had a passion for books, puns, history, and games like Chess and cards. Gene also enjoyed working on projects, whether it was at his own home or helping others. The sign hanging in his home summed up his life philosophy – “Love is an action word.”

A Celebration of Life for Gene will take place on Friday, July 21, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at the High River United Church in High River, Alberta. An inurnment at St. Alban’s Cemetery in Chailey will be arranged for a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Mennonite Disaster Service Canada at http://www.mds.org. Condolences can be sent through http://www.lylereeves.com. The family is being cared for by Lyle Reeves Funerals of High River, with Craig Snodgrass as the contact person (403.652.4242).

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