Menzo Eugene “Gene” Mars “Jr.”, 83, of Shelbyville, Illinois, passed away at 9:38 a.m. Friday, October 19, 2018, in his residence.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 24, 2018, in Holy Cross Lutheran Church Shelbyville, IL with Rev. E. Wade Helmkamp and Rev. Wray A. Offermann officiating. Visitation will be from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Wednesday in the church. Casual attire is requested. Burial will be in Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Shelbyville, IL. Memorials may be given to Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Shelbyville, IL or donor’s choice. Arrangements are by Howe and Yockey Funeral Home, Shelbyville, IL.
Gene was born on April 14, 1935, in rural Shelby Co., IL, the son of Menzo Jacob and Bethel Katherine (Barker) Mars. He attended Hackberry Grade School, graduated from Shelbyville High School in the Class of 1953 and enlisted in 1953 in the United States Air Force. Gene was a veteran of the Korean War, serving in Germany and North Africa. Gene earned his Bachelor of Science degree in electronic engineering from the Indiana Institute of Technology, Fort Wayne, IN, where he was a member of the Sigma Phi Delta Fraternity. Gene was a sales engineer for Texas Instruments, working in Chicago, Cincinnati, Detroit, Dallas and Los Angeles before his retirement in 1976. He then returned to the Shelbyville area and owned and operated the Lake Lawn Inn in Pana, IL. Gene later owned and operated the Best Western Carriage Inn in Altamont, IL and the Court House Inn in Shelbyville, IL. He previously worked for his mother at the Dog N Suds in Shelbyville, IL for many years. Gene was a member of VFW Post #4829, Shelbyville, IL and Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Shelbyville, IL, where he served as an elder and also as vice-president and president of the congregation.
He is survived by his daughters, Janet West (Donald) of Pana, IL, Deborah Horton (Mark) of Springfield, IL, and Pamela Logue of Highland, IL; five grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; and close friends, Jessie Lochbaum-Gipson and her family of Shelbyville, IL.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Harold and Jack Mars; and sister, Dorothy Louise West.