Eugene “Gene” Stoen

Monday, December 19, 2016 3:25 pm

Eugene “Gene” Stoen, 80, of Decorah, died Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016, at Gundersen Health System in La Crosse, Wis. Services were at 11 a.m., Monday, Dec. 19, at Big Canoe Lutheran Church, Decorah, with Rev. Kurt M. Bockoven officiating. Accompanist was Lane Rich. Soloist was Shaun Hoyme (“How Great Thou Art”). Humns were “Amazing Grace” and “On Eagles’ Wings.” Special music was “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” an Elvis rendition on CD. Burial was at Big Canoe Cemetery. Honorary casket bearers were Wilbur Thies, Tyler Ritter, Kevin Ritter, James Rea, James Hoyme and Noah Hoyme. Casket bearers were Troy Hovey, Alan Frey, Trey Ritter, Bill Stoen, Billy Frey, Jerry Frey, Al Thies and Troy Stoen. Military rites at the graveside were provided by Decorah Military Groups. Arrangements were handled by Schluter – Balik Funeral Home, Decorah.

Eugene “Gene” Kenneth Stoen was born Jan. 18, 1936, the son of Knut and Mildred (Leikvold) Stoen in Spring Grove, Minn. Gene graduated from Decorah High School in 1954. He served in the US Army, during the Korean Conflict. He was married to Caryl Dickman July 19, 1959, at the Washington Prairie Lutheran Church; they later divorced. Gene farmed and milked cows until 1976. He also worked at the Midland Coop and Scott’s Printing. Gene married the love of his life, Darlene Tollefson Frey, July 27, 1997, at the Big Canoe Lutheran Church. Gene loved to hunt, fish, bowl, barbecue and go to the Boat gambling. He also served on the military honor group, providing final rites for veterans at the cemetery. Gene was very social and enjoyed having coffee at McDonalds and playing cards at the Hay Market. Above all, Gene loved and enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. Gene was a member of the Big Canoe Lutheran Church and the Helof Holm VFW Chapter No. 1977.

Gene is survived by his wife, Darlene Stoen, Decorah; three children: Larry (Diana) Stoen, Rochester, Minn.; Linette (Kevin) Ritter, Rushford, Minn.; and Lisa (Steve) Rea, Waterloo; five step-children: Alan Frey, Houston, Texas; Kristi McCabe (special friend, Randy Luzum), Decorah; Jerry (Heather) Frey, Decorah; Billy (Jennifer) Frey, Spillville; and Cindy (Shaun) Hoyme, Decorah; grandchildren: Melissa (Ben) Kohler, Rachel (Brian) Hochstein, Troy Stoen, Tyler Ritter, Trey (fiancé, Renee Ryan) Ritter, Tatum Ritter, Morgan (Michael) Stanford, Thea Moe, and James Rea; step-grandchildren: Nathan, Macy and Reece Frey, Troy (fiancé, Molly Brusse) Hovey, Ashley (fiancé Ruben Dejesus), Harley McCabe, Lexi McCabe, Michael McCabe, McKenzie Frey, Teesha Frey, Delaynee Frey, James and Noah Hoyme; one great-grandson, Lincoln Kohler; one brother, Wilbur (Eunice) Stoen, Decorah; along with many nieces, nephews and great-nieces and nephews.

Gene was preceded in death by his parents, Knut and Mildred (Leikvold) Stoen; two sisters, Betty (Norman) Thies and Norma (Max) Shaffer; one step-great grandchild, Amber Frey; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Leo and Emma Tollefson.

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