Gene Loren Eggen, age 86, of Onamia, MN peacefully passed away on Sunday, April 8, 2018 at Mille Lacs Health System Long Term Care in Onamia. Memorial services will be held Thursday, April 12, 2018 at 2 PM at Trinity Lutheran Church in Milaca with Rev. Tim Bauer officiating. Visitation will be from 5 – 8 PM Wednesday at Trinity Lutheran Church and 1 hour prior to the service at the church on Thursday. Burial will take place at a later date at Brookside Cemetery near Milaca.
Gene was born April 16, 1931 on the family farm in Page Township, Minnesota to Peter and Vernida (Look) Eggen, the second of 12 children. He attended Tibbetts Brook country school and graduated from Milaca High School in 1948.
Gene enlisted in the MN National Guard and his unit was activated in the US Army during the Korean War. He obtained the rank of E-7 Sergeant First Class before being honorably discharged in 1952.
After the Army, he entered into masonry school. It was through this trade that he established his lifetime career as a bricklayer and contractor.
On July 7, 1957 he was united in marriage to Carol Jean Reynolds. Of this relationship begot 3 sons: Loren, Jay, John and a daughter: Diane.
As a bricklayer, he successfully went into business for himself. In 1974, he moved his family from Shoreview, MN to rural Milaca with the dream of becoming a farmer. His farming days were short-lived as he became extremely ill with farmer’s lung that nearly cost him his life. It was due to this illness that he was unable to continue farming and returned to construction. He continued bricklaying until he attempted retirement in 1996, when he and his wife started traveling. At this time, they resided full time at their lake home on Mille Lacs Lake where they enjoyed fishing and grandchildren visiting. Through their travels as snowbirds, they eventually became Winter Texans settling in Big Valley Trailer Park in Donna, TX. While spending the winter months in Donna, they developed numerous lasting friendships over the years. Gene was only successful at retirement when he was no longer able to work.
Gene is survived by his wife, Carol, of 60 years; sons, Loren Eggen of Stuttgart, Germany, Jay (Sheila) Eggen of Eau Claire, WI and John (Mary Ann) Eggen of Boerne, TX; daughter, Diane (Mark) Berezni of Milaca; grandchildren, Tamara (Larry) Kelly, Teresa (Jim) Cwik, Briana (John) Kelley, Sheridan (Sarah) Pabst, Chandra (Walker) Franks, Jessica (Clayton) Myers, Jordan (Jesse) Ferguson, Pete Berezni, Greylan (Timothy) Heffernan, Keilor Eggen, Jade Allen; 22 great-grand children; 10 siblings; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, beloved sister, Virginia Braaten and other family members.