Val Gene was born September 12, 1931 in Johnson County Illinois. He was the third of four children born to Cairl James & Opal May (Harner) Flora.
Val Gene was formerly united in marriage to Patricia Ann (Mills) Flora.
Survivors include: his children: Douglas Val Gene (Jane) Flora of St. Paul, Missouri, Lara Mae Flora of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Patricia Angela “Angel” Burchfield of O’Fallon, Missouri, Scott Patrick (fiancé Tonya Kreinhedder) Wentzville, Missouri, and Shannan Mac (Stacie Bauer) Flora of Lake St. Louis, Missouri; 10 grandchildren – Emily Bruce, Aaron Flora, David Robertson, Theresa Erdmann, Christy Flora, Patty Flora, Amanda Andrick, Mason Andrick, Jaden Flora & Chase Flora; 8 great grandchildren – Molly, Leah, Ben, Ezra, Amalya, Christian, Diamond, & Jericho; 2 sisters – Virginia Lee Basta and Bonnie Lou Flora both of Vienna; his loving companion – Brenda Dirden; and a host of other relatives and many friends.
Val Gene was preceded in death by his parents – Cairl J. Flora and Opal M. Flora Mescher; a brother – Marvin James Flora; and his stepfather – Clifford “Tim” Mescher.
Val Gene was a 1950 graduate of the Vienna High School, where he excelled as a standout athlete. He served from February 20, 1951-February 19, 1954 in the United States Marine Corps. Val Gene played basketball on the Marine Corps 2nd Division Team and later played semi-professionally. He had the opportunity to meet and play against many of the professional basketball players of that era and even played at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Val Gene attended Illinois Wesleyan College on a Basketball Scholarship.
He was employed as a production control expeditor by McDonnell-Douglas Corporation for 33 years prior to his retirement on February 28, 1991. Val Gene was a member of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local # 837. He also owned and operated Flora’s Landscaping from 1970-1980 and later worked for the United States Forest Service seniors work program.
Val Gene never met a stranger. He will be remembered for his jovial manner; always ready with a quip or verbal jab. Val Gene was a consummate practical joker and life of the party. He had many interests and enjoyed a number of hobbies, including woodworking, painting, playing Bingo, and shooting pool. He had participated over the years in a number of pool leagues. Val Gene also enjoyed working in the outdoors. He was a true “ax man,” cutting and selling firewood.
Val Gene enjoyed spending time with friends at the Whistlers and Whittlers Senior Citizens Center. He also loved music and sang gospel music in many churches throughout the community. Val Gene will be remembered for his zest for life and love of family and friends.
Funeral services will be held Friday afternoon, October 17, 2014, at 2 PM at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna. Brother Bill Veach will officiate. Burial, with military graveside rites, will be in the Vienna Fraternal Cemetery.
Visitation will be conducted from 1 PM – 2 PM Friday at the funeral home.
Memorials may be made to the Whistlers & Whittlers Senior Citizens Center, PO Box 1372, Vienna, IL 62995