Eugene "Gene" Holmes PEORIA - Eugene "Gene" Walter Holmes, age 83, of Peoria passed away on Monday, October 17, 2016, at UnityPoint Health-Methodist in Peoria. Gene was born on November 5, 1932, in Pontiac, IL, to Walter Scott and Liliane (Burnett Smith) Holmes. He married Ramona Kidd on August 26, 1956, at the Central Christian Church in Peoria. Surviving are his wife, Ramona; two children, Stephanie (Chuck) Bermke of Wauwatosa, WI, and Douglas (Kathy) Holmes of Peoria, IL; two grandchildren, Samantha (Cort) Severns of Brimfield, IL, and Morgan (Paul) Trainer of Deer Creek, IL; three great-grandchildren, Reid and Rhett Severns and Wyatt Trainer. Also surviving are a half brother, Roy Lynn Holmes of Perryton, Texas; and a half sister, Kay Walsh Stahler of El Paso, TX. He was preceded in death by his parents; one grandson, Adam K. Holmes; and a half brother, Douglas Holmes. Gene was also a relative of Lydia Moss Bradley, Founder of Bradley Polytech Institute, now BU. Gene graduated with a Masters Degree from Bradley University and was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha. Throughout his broadcasting career, he worked for both WMBD and WIRL radio and he was Vice President of Public Affairs for WHOI Channel 19. He was a founding member of the Peoria Crime Stoppers and was involved with both the Food Share Can-a-thon and the Central Illinois Food Bank. At the time, Gene was the youngest educator at Eureka College, teaching speech and drama. While there, he presented Ronald Reagan with an honorary PhD. He also taught speech at Bradley University and Illinois Central College. Gene was a 60-year member of the First Christian Church in Peoria, where he also served as a deacon; was a member of the Central Illinois Herpetological Society since 1962; was an active member since 1962 and served on the board of the Peoria Academy of Science; served on the board for the Arts at ICC; was Choreographer and Director of The Young Folk of the HOI Fair; was a founding member of the Friends of Glen Oak Zoo; and was a founding member of Corn Stock Theatre. A graveside service will be held on Friday, October 21, 2016, at 10 a.m. at Parkview Cemetery in Peoria. Chaplain Mary Jane West will be officiating. Visitation will be held on Thursday, October 20, 2016, from 4 to 7 p.m. at The Wilton Mortuary in Peoria. Memorials may be made to The Baby Fold, 108 E. Willow St., Normal, IL 61761; or Susan G. Komen Breast Center, 8800 IL-91, Peoria, IL 61615. Online condolences may be made at www.thewiltonmortuary.com .
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