WARREN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – On Sunday, June 2, 2019, Gene Battista was surrounded by his family as he passed gently into the night, quite opposite of how he lived: vibrantly, happily and lovingly with a zest for life.
Each goal he made for himself was achieved through hard work and integrity. As a child he was a paperboy in Warren and moved to the position of corner boss, as the pay was much better. While he was a student at Warren G. Harding High School, he worked at the Warren Tribune in the advertising department.
During high school he played the alto sax in his brother Tom’s band.
Pearl Harbor was attacked when he was 19. This inspired him to join the Navy. He enlisted to become a Navy Pilot. He earned his wings in Pensacola, Florida and within four years rose to Lieutenant Junior Grade. Gene earned a Distinguished Flying Cross and The Air Medal, being honorably discharged.
Once back home, Gene knew that he wanted to own a business. He worked in the jewelry industry at Hart’s Jewelry for nine years, became a manager and met the love of his life, Alda Lee. In 1954 he opened Gene’s Jewelers in downtown Warren and successfully worked with his family for over 60 years.
Throughout those years he was President of Retail Merchants, President of The Exchange Club and served on the Board of the YMCA. He was also a member of Trumbull 100, The Trumbull Country Club and Buckeye Club.
Gene loved his work, golf, enjoyed travel and was known for his joke telling. Everyone looked forward to his wit and appreciated his integrity.
Over a 71-year marriage, he only had eyes for his loving wife. Their story was and is one for the ages. All of us wish to have such a love but few are blessed to attain.
Gene’s legacy includes four children, Jean Taylor of New York, Alesia Laughlin (Phil) of Warren, John Battista (Teresa) of Washington state and Patricia Fleeger (James) of Warren; 15 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Our special thanks to Melinda Chapman and all of Gene’s caregivers for their tender loving care.
Family and friends may pay their respects Thursday, June 6, 2019, from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament Church, 3020 Reeves Road NE, Warren, OH 44483 and the Mass of Catholic Burial to follow at 11:00 a.m. with Fr. Thomas Isweirth celebrating his service.
Interment will follow at Oakwood Cemetery, 860 Niles Road SE, Warren.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in Gene’s name to Ohio Living Hospice, 6715 Tippecanoe Road, Building E. Suite #201, Canfield, OH 44406; The Warren Family Mission, 155 Tod Avenue NW, Warren, OH 44485 or Blessed Sacrament Church, 3020 Reeves Road NE, Warren, OH 44483.
Arrangements are entrusted to The McFarland-Barbee Family Funeral Home, 271 North Park Avenue, Warren, OH 44481, 330-393-9621. Please visit www.McFarlandBarbeeCares.com to send condolences.
A television tribute will air Wednesday, June 5 at the following approximate times: 12:25 p.m. WKBN, 6:58 p.m. on MyYTV and 10:37 p.m. FOX plus two additional spots throughout the day.