A member of the Quiet Birdmen, has “Gone West”. Gene was born April 28, 1935 and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He was an “airport kid” at the Sullivant Avenue Airport, where he fell in love with flying. He subsequently soloed in light planes at the age of 16. He earned a Navy ROTC scholarship to the Ohio State University after graduating from West High School, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design. Following his graduation, he selected the Marines to fulfill his service obligation, and went to Basic School in Quantico, and pilot training in Pensacola, Memphis, and Corpus Christi. He flew with the Marine Corps for 5 years. After fulfilling his military commitment, he returned to Columbus and was an executive pilot for the State of Ohio for another 5 years. He then began a 29-year career at American Airlines where he logged more than 30,000 hours of flight time.While still at American, he attended Capitol University, earning another degree in Accounting, and his CPA accreditation. He finally realized his dream job as a retiree when he retired from American Airlines in 1995 as a Boeing 757/767 Captain.
Gene had many passions during his life, including reading, art and illustration, pistol shooting, writing his own accounting software, and graphic design. His greatest passion though was his wife, Susan. Gene loved his family, his country, and his many friends, and he remained an active participant in the pilot community until his death. Gene’s professional affiliations included Quiet Birdmen, Professional Pilot’s Association, his Marine Corp Basic School Class organization, and the Airline Pilot Association.
Gene is survived by his loving wife, Susan; sons, Geoff Burch and his wife, Cristina, Gregg Tuller and his wife, Lisa; daughter, Cindy Jones and her husband, Stu; grandchildren, Kyle, Austin, Emily, Brandon, and Larissa, and too many grand-dogs to count.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation (www.mcsf.org) or the Gary Sinise Foundation (www.garysinisefoundation.org). Please have funds directed to wounded Marines.
A memorial service for Gene will be held at SCHOEDINGER NORTHWEST CHAPEL, 1740 Zollinger Rd. Columbus, OH 43221. 2 p.m. On Sunday, January 31, 2016 followed by a reception until 4 p.m. Visit www.schoedinger.com. to share a favorite memory of Gene.
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