Ernest E. “Gene” Rempe, of Geneva, IL, passed away on Saturday, December 14, 2019.
Gene was born on July 3, 1932, as the third of seven children to Ernest J. and Mary J. (Hoff) Rempe in Plainville, KS. He grew up working on the family farm, while surviving dust storms that blotted out the sun, grasshopper crop attacks, golf ball sized hailstorms, and frequent tornados.
Gene attended Sacred Heart Grade School in Plainville, KS then graduated high school from St. Joseph's Military Academy in 1950 as the Cadet Battalion Commander with the Rank of Colonel. While in high school, Gene was a member of the 1948 undefeated State of Kansas Football Champions and was a member of the track, boxing and baseball teams.
In 1950, Gene attended Kansas State University and entered the Army ROTC program training as a paratrooper as well as becoming an active member of the Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity. Upon graduation in 1954 with a BS in Civil Engineering, Gene reported for active duty in the Army's Corps of Engineers. After completing basic training in Fort Belvoir Virginia, Gene was sent overseas to an engineering unit in Japan, then to construct airfield runways at Anderson Air Force Base in Guam and then to construct Fighter plane landing strips at various Air Force Bases in Korea. It was during Gene’s service in Korea that he was promoted to First Lieutenant in command of Company "C" of the 68th Aviation Engineer Battalion.
After retiring with an honorable discharge from the Army in 1956, Gene went to work for a consulting engineering firm in Topeka, KS. He spent the next 4 years surveying/designing water treatment and bridge systems, while attending classes to complete his Kansas Professional Engineer License.
In June 1959, Gene married Charlotte “Char” Paterson at St Matthews Church in Topeka, KS. Gene and Char established residency in Topeka and their first of four children, Rick, was born in March 1960.
In April 1961 the couple moved to Geneva, IL where Gene partnered with his brother, Joe, and Connie Sharpe to purchase the Wells Engineering Company that was incorporated in 1965 under a new name "Rempe - Sharpe Consulting Engineers". It is in Geneva that the Gene and Char also raised 3 more children, Janice, Linda and Bryan. Over the next 15 years, Gene and his partners successfully operated the engineering firm and in 1980 Gene took over as President and held that position until his retirement on July 1, 1996. Rempe- Sharpe is still in operation in Geneva.
Along with his professional achievements, Gene was an active member of the community by participating in the Geneva Auxiliary Police, Jaycees, St. Peter's Men's Club, St Peter's Church Usher, St. Peter's School Board Member, Knights of Columbus, Men's Bowling League, Moose Lodge Golf League, VFW of Batavia and the American Legion.
Gene enjoyed community involvement and was also fond of sporting his trademark pipe with a grin while golfing in Geneva, pheasant hunting in Kansas, annual fishing and poker trips to Minnesota & Wisconsin with his buddies and family trips to the North Woods for fishing, boating & swimming. He was an avid fan of the Kansas State Wildcats, the Notre Dame Irish and the Chicago Cubs and Bears.
Gene is survived by his wife of over 60 years Charlotte Rempe of St. Charles, IL; his children Rick Rempe of North Aurora, IL, Janice Rempe Clark and husband Doug of Geneva, IL, Linda Rempe Nowlin and husband Greg of Johns Creek, GA, and Bryan Rempe and wife Sandy of Johns Creek, GA; his sibling Theresa Jones and husband Bill of Norman, Oklahoma; his 8 grandchildren Austin, Jack, Nick, Avery, Dylan, Danielle, Jack, and Ben; and many nieces and nephews.
Gene was preceded in death by his first grandchild Rachel Spriggs, his parents, his brother, Joe Rempe, Paul Rempe, and James Rempe, and sisters, Mary Ruth McCune and Rita Brand.
Visitation will be held on Monday, December 23, 2019 from 10:00 - 11:00 am and will be followed by a Mass of Celebration at 11:00 am at St. Peters Catholic Church, 1891 Kaneville Road, Geneva IL.
Final resting place will be at Oak Hill Cemetery in Geneva.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Legion, which can be sent in care of the Malone Funeral Home, 324 E. State Street, Geneva, IL 60134.
Arrangements handled by Malone Funeral Home in Geneva. For information 630-232-8233 or www.malonefh.com.
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