Walter Gene Witsman of Danville died Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, at Carle Foundation Hospital.
A visitation will be 3 to
6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at Pape Funeral Home, 10 E. Williams St.,
Danville. Service will follow immediately afterward and begin with Masonic Rites
by Olive Branch #38 and a short memorial service by Don Porter. Cremation will
follow and later burial in Thomas Cemetery outside Newport, Indiana at 10 am,
Friday October 19.
Gene Witsman was born in Cayuga, Indiana on
July 02, 1929.
He was preceded in death by his father, Frederick
K. Witsman and his mother, Lucille (Van Sant) Witsman as well as brothers
William “Bill” and Robert and sisters Jacqueline, Freda, and Thelma. Melvyn Karl
“Pete” Witsman, a brother, survives.
He married Florence Louise
Petty on August 18, 1957. She survives.
He is also survived by his
loving children, Karl Witsman, Dennis Witsman, and Peggy Norman as well as his
son-in-law Gary Norman and daughter-in-law Donna Carlene.
He had four
grandchildren, Laura (Karl), Mariah, Mason, and Andrew (Dennis), as well as many
nieces and nephews.
After graduating from Cayuga High School,
Gene served in the Army during the tense period of the Cold War and the Korean
War era. He was a sergeant in the Military Police in Germany.
in Cayuga where he and Florence built their own home. Then they lived in
Georgetown, Illinois before moving to Oakwood and later to
Gene’s hobbies included walking trails, enjoying
nature, carpentry, music, and photography. He served as a 32nd degree Mason, 50
year member of Olive Branch Masonic Lodge #38 and the Danville Scottish Rites
Bodies. He was a Past Master of Cayuga Lodge.
Gene retired from being an industrial engineer with an emphasis on safety and
efficiency. He was very outspoken about equality and fairness in the workplace.
He valued punctuality and civility. A strong advocate for education, he attend
DACC and Parkland College, as well as encouraging his children to higher
Gifts in lieu of flowers are requested to be sent to
the VA Hospital, Danville, Carle Clinic Foundation, Urbana, or the Joshua
Witsman Scholarship. The scholarship is held at Western Indiana Community
Foundation, P.O. Box 175, 135 South Stringtown Road, Covington, Indiana