Gene Ray South, Sr., 67 years young, of Annandale, died peacefully on March 18, 2015 at Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center in Santa Fe, NM.
A Celebration of Gene’s Life will be held 10:00 am, Saturday, March 28, 2015 at Lake Union Covenant Church with Pastor Lloyd Melvie and Pastor Eric Marx officiating. Visitation will be held 4:00-8:00 pm Friday, March 27, 2015 at the Dingmann Funeral Care Chapel in Annandale and one hour prior to the service on Saturday. A prayer service will be held at 7:00 pm on Friday at the funeral home.
Gene South was born on September 7, 1947 in Caddo, Oklahoma to Rev. L.C. and Charlene (Keeth) South. He was a 1966 graduate of Durant High School and a 1974 graduate of the University of Maryland with a BA degree in Business Administration and EE degree in Engineering. Gene served in the U.S. Army for eight years with tours in Germany and Vietnam. While serving in Vietnam as a Door Gunner in a helicopter, Gene received two Purple Heart Medals and many other medals. Gene married the love of his life, Tomsita Ida Moreno, on February 28, 1970.
Gene was very involved in the telecommunications industry. He served as CEO and General Manager of Lakedale Communications in Annandale, MN and EVP of Operations of Panhandle Telephone Cooperative in Guymon, OK. He also served in various capacities with USTA for 20 years, OPASTCO for 17 years, MTA for 17 years, OTA for 10 years, MART for 12 years, RTFC for 8 years and RICA for 5 years. In addition, he served as Chairman and Board Member of RTFC and USTA. Gene testified before the Congress and the State Legislator on behalf of the industry and on behalf of individual companies.
Gene was also involved in community organizations in Minnesota and Oklahoma including the Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis, Ambassadors Club, Toastmasters, Buffalo Hospital Board, Health and Community Board, and the Kimball Golf Club Board.
Gene leaves a legacy for the love of golf. After his retirement, he played an average of 150 rounds of golf per year in Minnesota. Gene enjoyed music and songs; he had over 26,000 songs in his library and loved sharing those songs with friends and others at Lake Union Covenant Church.
Time spent with grandchildren was a joy for Gene. He was a fun grandpa because he never forgot how to be a kid. Gene was very proud of his accomplishments in school, activities, sports and college. Gene will be remembered for his sense of humor in life and will be missed dearly.
Gene is survived by his wife and love of his life, Ida; four children Glenn of Socorro, NM, Melody of St. Cloud, Suneco of Annandale and B.J. of Big Lake; four grandchildren Samantha, Charisse, Triston and Hunter; great grandchild, Raiden; mother, Charlene South of Durant, OK; sisters, Margie (Ted) Snow of Eureka Springs, Arkansas and Wanda (Larry) Ingram of Paragould, Arkansas; and many other family and friends. He is preceded in death by his father Rev. L.C. South and sister, Evonne.
Honorary Pallbearers will be Walt Clay, Bill “Sonic” Sonnett, Jerry Heitz, Ron Graham, Pete Alvord, John Bishop, Jefferson Bishop and Jeff Roiland. Arrangements are entrusted with Dingmann Funeral Care Burial & Cremation Services of Annandale.