Gene David Florence | December 15, 1945 — March 21, 2020
Gene David Florence (Pee-Wee/Armpit) was born to eternal life and reunited with his long lost 1969 Shelby GT 500 KR and his beloved wife, Margarita Navidad Florence. He made it home, but late for supper, on Saturday, March 21, 2020, after a sudden diagnosis of terminal cancer at the age of 74.
Gene was lovingly survived by his daughters Helen Renee (Jonathan) Fuller, Chelsee Rebecca (Ernest Graham) Florence and Amanda Regina (Joel) Goodenough, and his dear brother Norman (Gerry) Florence. He was the adored Papa of Brooklyn, Jaeger and Genesee, and the great-grandfather of Isalina. Gene will be greatly missed by his faithful furry companions Sugar, Bella and Lulu. This ripple of grief will also be felt across countless cherished friends and relatives.
He will reconnect in the afterlife with his parents, Raymond and Helen Florence; his sister Patricia Florence; and his brothers Raymond (Marjorie) Florence Jr., Wendell Florence, LeRoy (Virginia Phillips) Mitchell and Richard “Dickey” Mitchell.
Gene’s many impressive lifetime achievements were a result of his unprecedented work ethic. He was a dedicated family man, a tireless provider, an always-helpful companion and a talented mechanic. There was nothing Gene couldn’t fix with a rubber band, bungee cord or zip tie. He was a man of great character who was unapologetically honest and didn’t take people’s sh*t unless they paid him to (through his successful septic pumping business).
The world was not ready for the force of Gene Florence, but he remained resilient beyond measure and paved a better future for all. A Marine of multiple wars, Gene served this country in Vietnam, fought for the right to marry interracially, picketed for Union rights alongside Teamster brothers, stood up to Mukwonago’s racial discrimination, and fearlessly faced his final battle against cancer.
A celebration of Gene’s life will take place at Waukesha’s Church and Chapel Funeral Home on a summer or fall date yet to be determined. Until then, you can find Gene in the aroma of Papa Murphy’s pizza, hear him in the lyrics of Gregory Abbott’s “Shake You Down,” or look for him in the clouds above any used car lot.
Church and Chapel Funeral Home is serving the family. Online obituary, condolences, and future memorial service information can be found at www.churchandchapel.com.
Amanda—this at once made me laugh and feel sad. I love this picture of your dad. I think he took my purse (perpetually left at your house, along with my drivers license) along with him to heaven. I hope he did.