Gene was born Feb. 10, 1931 in Belknap. He was the son of Ralph and Wilma Crawford Huckelberry. He was united in marriage to Alene Felker Huckelberry on Nov. 8, 1952 in Corinth, Miss. She survives.
Gene was a U.S. Army Ranger and was stationed in Germany during the Korean War. He was a former maintenance employee with Allied Chemical, now Honeywell, in Metropolis, where he retired in 1994.
He was a union representative for the United Steelworkers Union Local 7-669 in Metropolis.
Gene was dedicated to his family, friends and the Belknap community. He had served for 32 years as a mayor of the village of Belknap. During his tenure as mayor, Gene was instrumental in obtaining grants for the implementation of a community water system, as well as a senior citizens center and upgrades for the fire department. Gene had also served for 34 years as the administrator and operator of the Belknap Water Department.
Gene and Alene gave tirelessly of their time and energies for the care and upkeep of the Belknap Masonic Cemetery.
Gene also faithfully served for many years as a member of the Cypress School Board and served several terms as board president.
Gene was of the Christian faith and was a past master of the former Belknap Masonic Lodge.
He was an avid St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan and enjoyed spending time outdoors. Gene especially enjoyed rabbit, squirrel and coon hunting, as well as trapping. He had achieved the designation of a black belt in karate during his training as an Army Ranger and also was a Golden Glove Boxer. For a period of time, Gene pitched for the Red Sox Minor League Baseball team.
Other survivors include two daughters, Susie Smith and husband James of Metropolis and Janet Barrett and David Hester of Belknap; one son, Paul Huckelberry and wife Krista of Metropolis; eight grandchildren, Lisa Palmer and Justin, Justin Smith and Crystal, Brandi Short and Jamie, Brittany Johnson and Nick, Bridgett McMurtry and Josh, Bergandi Johnson, Josef Huckelberry and Carissa Huckelberry; five great-grandchildren, Jordan Palmer, Maci Palmer, Landen Randolph, Carter Short and Lillie Huckelberry; one brother, Johnny Huckelberry and wife Janine of Vienna; one sister, Martha Burnam of Vienna; and several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Gene was preceded in death by two sons, Robert Dale Huckelberry and Clinton Eugene Huckelberry; one granddaughter, Baily Lynn Johnson; two brothers, Joe M. Huckelberry and J.R. Huckelberry; and two sisters, Pat Huckelberry and Janice Wright.
Funeral service was held, May 1, 2012 at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna with Pastor Jerry Huckleberry officiating.
Burial followed at Belknap Masonic Cemetery with military graveside rites being conducted by Beggs-Gurley VFW Post 5222 and the Illinois National Guard Burial Honors Detail.
Memorials may be made to the Belknap Masonic Cemetery, c/o Alene Huckelberry, P.O. Box 144, Belknap, IL 62908.