Eugene D. “Gene” Starmer
June 18, 1948 – October 4, 2020
Eugene “Gene” Dale Starmer was born on June 18, 1948 in Fremont, NE to Dale and Geraldine (Shriver) Starmer. He was also welcomed into the family by his big sister Pat. Growing up in Fremont Gene was involved in Boy Scouts, baseball, basketball, football, Methodist Youth Fellowship, and a member of DeMolay. He was a newspaper carrier for the Fremont Tribune, and also worked at Hinky Dinky grocery store. Every summer the Starmer family made the trek to Lake Okoboji where they enjoyed some cabin living and fishing.
Gene taught himself to play the guitar, and was a proud member of the “The Six Wild Brakmen”. In 2001 he was very proud to be inducted into the Nebraska Music Hall of Fame with the rest of the members who are also some of his closest friends. He graduated from Fremont High School in 1966, and went on to attend Midland Lutheran College.
While in college Gene was part of the Warrior football team and tennis team as well as a member of Kappa Alpha Lambda fraternity. He also worked at Kavish’s Furniture. Gene did his student teaching at Boys Town High School in Omaha, and graduated from Midland Lutheran College in 1970……but the most memorable part of his college years was meeting his future wife Barb.
Gene married Barb Johnson on August 15, 1970 in Wausa, NE. The couple made their home in Millard, NE (yes it was not Omaha yet), and started their careers in the rapidly growing Millard Public School District. In August of 1975 they welcomed their daughter Jenna, and in November of 1978 they welcomed their son Jeff.
Gene began his career in Millard in 1970. He taught math at Central Junior High for eight years and at Millard/Millard South High School for twenty-five. Gene was listed three times in “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers”. In 1970, Gene started the Boys Tennis team, and on year later, the Girls Tennis team. Those teams combined for a total of 381 dual wins along with numerous conference and invitation championships. The Boys team earned two State Championships and nine State Runner Up titles. Gene received several coaching honors including NCA and OTA Tennis Coach of the Year, NCA Level 4 and 25 Year awards. Gene is a three-time Top 8 Finalist for the National Coach of the Year, and has been inducted into the Metro Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame. In 2006, he established the criteria for the Nebraska All-State Tennis teams. In 2015 Gene was inducted into the Millard South Hall of Fame, and in 2016 he was inducted into the Nebraska Tennis Association Hall of Fame.
Gene enjoyed attending his children’s activities over the years, and then his grandchildren’s. Spending time with his furry grandchildren was also very important to him. Lunches with friends may have seemed a simple thing, but those meant so very much to him. Reconnecting with former tennis players also brought great joy to his life. Golfing with friends was something he looked forward to, and he pushed to keep doing that until he wasn’t able to anymore. He will be missed by many, but we are blessed to have had him in our lives. Gene, Dad, Grandpa………we love you so very much.
Preceded in death by parents, Dale and Geraldine Starmer, and granddaughter, Lyla Michelle Erb. Survived by wife, Barb Starmer; daughter, Jenna (Adam) Erb; son, Jeff Starmer; grandchildren: Ava, Bennett, Brady, Ellie and Lillian; sister, Pat (Tom) Runge; brother-in-law, Dennis Johnson; niece, Jill (Brian) Gable; nephew, Jay Runge; great-nephew, Alex Gable; and great-niece, Ali Gable.
Family will receive friends Friday, October 9th from 5pm to 7pm, at the West Center Chapel. FUNERAL SERVICE: Saturday, October 10th, 10:30am, West Center Chapel. INTERMENT: Mt Auburn Cemetery. Memorials to be directed by the family.
To view a live broadcast of the Funeral Service, go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Service” button on the homepage.
In memory of Gene we invite people to wear red or sport their Millard South attire at the Service.