Gene Denison

Huron

Gene Denison, 90, of Huron, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019, at Prairie View Healthcare Center, Woonsocket. His memorial service was Tuesday, Dec. 3, at the Riverview United Methodist Church, with military honors by the Virgil American Legion Post 268 and the Huron Veterans Council. Burial was in the Riverside Cemetery. His visitation was Monday, Dec. 2, at the Kuhler Funeral Home.

Gene William Denison was born July 14, 1929, to William “Jake” and Ingabelle (Evenson) Denison at Virgil. He spent his youth in Virgil playing baseball and basketball, riding motorcycles, driving truck and working at the local elevator. He spent a summer tinning grain elevators. He graduated from Virgil High School and Huron College.

Gene married Norma Bonesteel on June 10, 1951. They enjoyed a short time together prior to his tour of duty in Korea with the 45th Infantry Division. He was awarded a Bronze Star.

On his return home, Gene and Norma went to Vermillion where she taught school, and he completed his Master’s degree in political science. He used that degree to return to Huron College to teach political science and history for many years. After receiving his doctorate from the University of South Dakota, Gene served as Dean of Students.

Gene served as Mayor of Huron from 1960 to 1965. During his term, Huron approved the new library, the new high school, the Diversion Dam, and several other projects. He completed his career as the Beadle County Director of Equalization. 

Gene and Norma enjoyed a long retirement, traveling and being in Huron. He spent his last few years with dementia; although losing his memory, he retained his personality.

Gene is survived by his wife, Norma; two sons, Matt and Jeff; and a granddaughter.

He was preceded in death by his parents; Jeff’s wife, Susan; and his brother, Virgil.

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