Eugene Carl Lundeen
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August 22, 1925-October 30, 2019
Another member of The Greatest Generation has left this world. Gene (Eugene) Carl Lundeen died peacefully in his sleep while dreaming of his next adventure. He was 94.
Gene was born to Carl and Mary (Bailey) Lundeen in a small farmhouse a few miles from his hometown of Mediapolis, Iowa. There was no electricity or running water while growing up. Raised during the Great Depression and the oldest of three children, he learned to live a simple life with a strong work ethic. In addition to farm chores, Gene drove the rural Mediapolis school bus starting at age 16. After graduating from Mediapolis Consolidated Schools, Gene briefly enrolled at Burlington Junior College then enlisted (age 17) in the United States Army in July, 1943. He later joined the 86th Blackhawk Infantry Division serving in Germany and Austria. After the war ended in Europe he was deployed to the Pacific Front to serve in the Philippine Islands. Gene was honorably discharged in April 1946 and awarded the Bronze Star.
While travelling west on a troop train through Colorado on route to the West Coast, Gene saw the jaw dropping beauty of the mountains, plains, deserts and beaches of the west and told himself, “I’ll be back”.
After discharge, he was encouraged to attend The American Academy of Horology (watchmaking) in Denver. After his training, he returned to Mediapolis, opened a small watch repair/jewelry store, and married his beautiful wife Loretta (Bohemann) on July 8, 1948, and soon three children were added to the family.
In 1955 Gene and Loretta packed up their belongings and three little kids in their ‘51 turquoise and black Oldsmobile 88 and moved to Glenwood Springs, CO. In their free time, they took camping/road trips, played in the streams and skied at Buttermilk. They instilled a love and respect for nature and the outdoors in their children.
The Lundeens moved to Boulder in July 1958 where Gene purchased University Hill Jewelers, a small shop located across the street from The Sink. He eventually sold the store and later retired after a 20 year career at Rocky Flats. Gene became a CU Buffs fan, earned his pilot’s license and was a long-time member of the Colorado Mountain Club and Rocky Mountain Rescue. He led many mountain adventures for the CMC to include climbs up Long’s Peak, Capital Peak and many other fourteeners.
The Lundeen family became members of Mountain View United Methodist Church in 1958. The fellowship and support from their association with the church was an important part of the Lundeen family’s life.
Gene and Loretta loved to travel and took many trips to Hawaii, Mexico, toured Europe and Scandinavia, North Africa, the islands of the Aegean Sea and New Zealand. They also belonged to several dance clubs and often attended musical programs and performances.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, his loving wife and best friend of 66 years, Loretta (d 2014), his sister Lois Miller, brother Tom Lundeen, daughter Vicki Carroll (d 2006), son Bob (d 2018), former daughter in law Rose Lundeen (d 2013) and grandson Sam Lundeen (d 1995).
Gene is survived by daughter Rita Dart (Douglas) of Boulder and son in law Tim Carroll of Wellington, CO and Cheyenne, WY. He is also survived by five grandchildren; Colin L Dart (Virginia) of Aurora, Andrea L Dart (partner Dave LaRocca) of Denver, Jens Lundeen (Lesley) of Boulder, Lisa Kassaii (Neema) of Niwot and Mike Carroll of Cheyenne, WY, great granddaughters Ellie, Mollie and Charlie Lundeen and Leila and Era Kasaaii. Also surviving are nephews Hugh and Tom Miller and niece Mary Maurer, all of Iowa.
Family, friends and coworkers remember Gene as a kind and gentle man, always willing to help shovel sidewalks, trim a tree or run errands for a friend no longer able to drive. He was a devoted family man with great personal integrity who loved to explore the outdoors. Happy trails, Gene!
The family would like to thank the caring, devoted staff and loving community of ManorCare in Boulder where he spent the last three and a half years of his life. Great comfort was provided by Halcyon Hospice Care in the last week of his life.
Burial will be at Fort Logan National Cemetery on November 15 at 11:15 am. A reception will follow at Greenwood and Myers Mortuary in Boulder at 1:30 pm.