Matthew Gene Verdoes

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Gene VerdoesMatthew Gene Verdoes age 76 of Redwood Falls passed away Friday, May 16, 2014 at his home after a two year battle with pancreatic cancer.  Memorial Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Thursday at the Presbyterian Church in Redwood Falls.  Visitation will be held from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. Wednesday AT THE CHURCH, and will continue one hour prior to the service on Thursday.  Interment will be in Fort Snelling National Cemetery at a later date.  Memorials to Hospice are preferred in lieu of flowers.  Stephens Funeral Service – Redwood Valley Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

Gene was born in Slayton, MN July 23, 1937 to Harry and Frances (Menning) Verdoes.  After graduation from Edgerton High School he moved to California where he stayed for a number of years before serving in the US Army.  After his active duty, he returned to Edgerton and worked at the lumber yard.  It was during this time he was set up on a blind date with Marlys, whom he married a few years later.  Gene received his bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls in 1969 and his master’s degree from Mankato State University in 1978.  His career as an elementary teacher was spent in Redwood Falls.  Not only was he was the first male elementary classroom teacher in the district, but he and Marlys were the first married couple to be hired as teachers in the district.  He thoroughly enjoyed his job and working with the students.  Gene was active on the teacher negotiations team.  He loved socializing with the teachers and the staff – even after retirement in 1998 he continued to join school staff for a coffee break for as long as his health allowed.  Summer jobs kept Gene active in the community while he was a teacher – painting houses, teaching driver’s training and working at the pit stop gate at the Redwood Speedway.  After retirement he continued being a substitute teacher for several years.  He loved working for the high school basketball games sitting mid-court and running the scoreboard.  The Minnesota State High School Athletic Association awarded him the Distinguished Service Award for his many years of service.  Gene and Marlys built their house on Lake Redwood in 1988.  He took pleasure in the planning and construction process.  After moving in, many hours were spent outside enjoying the yard and surroundings and he appreciated a cold beer in the back yard on a warm summer day.  He loved the times his children and grandchildren came to visit.  Gene enjoyed keeping updated on current news by reading newspapers online from all over the state and watching old westerns on TV, especially Bonanza.  Gene was a good man with a good heart and treated people right.  He could have a conversation with anyone and could often be found with a smile on his face.

Gene is survived by his wife Marlys; three children: Beth (Nat) Opperman, Lisa (Kevin) Asp and Steve (Nicky) Verdoes; six grandchildren: Garrett, Sam, Max, Alila, Nick & Mattis, brother Dean (Barb) Verdoes; sister Carol (Ron) Collins; and a niece Michele.  He is preceded in death by his parents and several friends.

Comments

  1. Parry Jahnke says:

    My family sends their condolences. Gene was my math teacher and I have very fond memories of that time. Lisa was my classmate. Lisa, and family, sorry about your loss.

    Parry Jahnke and family…Tallinn, Estonia

  2. Craig Norland says:

    Being a longtime area basketball official gave me the opportunity to meet and visit with Gene many times over the years. He and his table mates made our job much more enjoyable. Gene always had a smile on his face and was truly happy doing his part to make the game special for the kids. He always made us feel welcome in Redwood and will truly be missed. Gene will always be in my thoughts every time we work another game in Redwood. The obit described him as a good man and I couldn’t agree more. My sympathies to the family.

  3. Doug Foy says:

    Sorry to hear of Gene’s passing. Had fond memories of learning in his sixth grade classroom. One of my favorite teachers of all I had in Redwood Falls. May you cherish his memory as I do as a kind, considerate person and teacher.

  4. Randy Picka says:

    My condolences to Marlys and family, Gene will be missed by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    Randy & Ellen Picka

  5. Marya Baker says:

    Gene was my sixth grade teacher. He was kind and generous. I was fortunate to have Marlys has my kindergarten teacher. My condolences to the family. You are in my prayers. Marya Ochs Baker

  6. Melanie Menning says:

    Marlys and family,
    Condolences are being sent to you. Melanie Menning, Merlin Menning and families

  7. Dick and Joyce Neyers says:

    Marlys and family:
    Our condolences to you and your family. We loved having you as neighbors in Redwood. I really miss our backyard discussions in the evening and our little coffee parties. Gene was a great teacher to the kids. We were out of town when we heard of Gene’s passing so we did not make it to the visitation or service. You are in our prayers.

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