GABBARD, Gene D. Gene D. Gabbard, 82, of Centerville, passed away on Saturday, August 8th, 2020. He heroically battled the complications of a heart attack and stroke for eight months and was undaunted to the end. His family is grateful to everyone who supported him thru his fight. Gene was born in Hamilton, on April 26th, 1938, to parents Grover and Lucy (Barrett) Gabbard. Gene, a devoted husband and father is survived by the love of his life, Jean, his wife of 57 years; their two daughters, Jennifer (Jay) Wheeler of Glendale and Meredith Garnica of Blue Ash; his sister, Aileen Hunt of Hamilton and a large circle of in-laws, nieces, nephews and friends. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Judson and Dennis. Gene graduated from Hamilton High School in 1956. He was a talented natural musician, teaching himself trumpet and piano. While still in high school, he formed a big band known as the Harmony Kings Orchestra. The band was a favorite among Hamiltonians and played at virtually all major dance venues from LeSourdsville Lake to Coney Island. The Harmony Kings played professionally for many years until the decline in Big Band popularity. Gene joined the Marines in 1955, and served in the Reserves for a number of years. He was a noted marksman, winning many awards. He attended the Ohio College of Applied Science, University of Cincinnati and Miami University. He met his wife Jean, a student nurse at Mercy Hospital Hamilton, in 1960, after breaking his ankle. Gene had a long executive career in the field of manufacturing. He started at Baldwin Lima Hamilton as a draftsman. He moved to Mosler Safe Company, where he worked for the next 20 years. Following Mosler, Gene worked at Zonic in Blue Ash, a pioneering computer manufacturer. Zonic was acquired by Reynolds & Reynolds in Dayton, where Gene served as a Senior Director for 10 years. Gene capped his professional career as President of BMS, Inc in Dayton. Active in the community, Gene was a President of the Ross School Board, a delegate of the Ohio School Boards Association, and a member of the Board of Directors of the SW Butler County Water Association. He was a volunteer for many years with the Hipple Cancer Research Center in Kettering. In 2014, Gene helped organize a Mosler Employee Reunion, where he accepted a proclamation from the Mayor of Hamilton "recognizing the Mosler Safe Company and Mosler Employees for their lasting impression on the City of Hamilton, Ohio, and the World." The proclamation document is now on display at the Butler County Historical Society Museum along with a number of Mosler artifacts that Gene curated and donated. He also recently consulted with the Cincinnati Art Museum on an exhibit of Americana. This ongoing exhibit includes a historic trade sign from his brother Judson's business, The Keyer Pipehouse. Gene enjoyed his retirement years while working part-time at Dorothy Lane Market in Springboro. He was a WW2 history buff and greatly enjoyed the nearby Airforce Museum. Gene was a patriot and a proud American, a devoted family man, and loyal friend. He enjoyed golfing and had a lifelong interest in technology and computers. Gene spent many happy hours working on his family genealogy. He loved animals, particularly his cats. His family and friends will miss his cheerfulness, dry wit, quick laugh and eagerness to help on projects great and small. Visitation will be held from 10 am to noon at the Webb Noonan Kidd Funeral Home, 240 Ross Ave, Hamilton OH 45013. A service will be held at the funeral home at noon followed by procession to Greenwood Cemetery for interment with military honors. Friends and family are asked to wear masks and to observe social distancing. Memorial donations in Gene's honor may be made to the Ohio Alleycat Resource (ohioalleycat.org), the Wounded Warrior Project (support.woundedwarriorproject.org), or Joseph's Legacy Animal Rescue in Middletown (josephslegacyrescue.org). Condolences may be left for the family at www.Webb-Noonan.com.
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