Eugene "Gene" WeitzelJuly 3, 1926 ~ February 22, 2017 (age 90)
EUGENE (Gene) WEITZEL
WW II U. S. Army
Gene was born on a farm in Otis, Colorado. His education took place in the nearby towns of Brush for elementary school followed by High School in Fort Morgan. In November 1944, before he had completed high school, he was drafted into the Army and received his basic training in Ft. Worth, Texas. He was a member of the 42nd lnfantry Division which was sent overseas in January of 1945. Gene was "put in the kitchen," and worked as a cook's helper. The 42nd Division was initially stationed in Le Havre, France. Le Havre suffered 132 bombings by the Allies during the World War II. The Nazis also destroyed the port infrastructure and sank ships before leaving the city. The greatest destruction, however occurred on 5 and 6 September,1944, a few months before Gene's division was sent there. At that time the British Royal Air Force bombed the city center and the port to weaken the occupying forces.
The next wartime station for Gene's division was in Worms, Germany. Worms also was heavily bombed by the Royal Air Force during the last few months of World War II in two attacks, one on February 2l and the other March 18, 1945. A post-war survey estimated that 39 per cent of the town's developed area was destroyed. After the war in Europe ended on May 8,1945, the division moved to Vienna, Austria, where they served as the last occupation troops in that city. The Vienna assignment included the pleasure of attending "GI Club" parties every night where they enjoyed snacks and dancing! Gene and a friend also took a cruise on Lake Geneva in Switzerland. A week after the end of the war in Europe the troops were allowed to visit Dachau, the Nazi concentration camp from which 30,000 inmates had been liberated the previous month. Gene remembers this as the worst event in his tour of duty.
In May 1947, after two and one-half years of service, Gene was discharged with the rank of PFC. He returned to Fort Morgan and, since jobs were very scarce, took the only job he could find as a service station attendant. Marriage to Lydia brought a recurrence of his job as "cook's helper"! He and Lydia tried farming for two years on his father-in-1aw's farm. That proved unsuccessful so they moved to Denver where Gene was employed at The Gates Rubber Company, a manufacturer of tires and hose, for 35 years.
Gene enjoyed fishing, golfing, and watching football.
He will be deeply missed by his family.
Please click the following link to view a video tribute
that the Weitzel family has created for Gene:
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Gene's name may be made to:
Advocates for Children - CASA
Or we would be happy to forward a check.
Mail to Dan Weitzel, 9981 Wyecliff Place, Littleton, CO 80126
Family & friends are welcome to share stories and photographs of Gene here on his website (click appropriate tab on the left side of this page).