Gene Alan Marcum was born on August 18, 1934 in Chelsea to Henry and Lulu Mae Marcum.
Growing up on the family dairy farm, he and his brother Jim Marcum instilled the handyman and honey mentality it takes to keep things running efficiently.
While attending high school in Chelsea, Gene’s fondest memory was playing catcher on the baseball team. One of his most valued teammates was the famed Ralph Terry, who later played in five World Series games for the New York Yankees and pitched on seven pennant-winning teams.
A close school friend said, “Nobody wanted to catch for Ralph except Gene.” He passed his “expertise” on the catch to his sons and granddaughter, for whom he always had an extra word of encouragement when needed.
During this time, Gene met his high school sweetheart and soon-to-be love of his life, Iris Ann Green.
The two married on December 24, 1955 and had four children together, Kavin, David, Melody and Marsha.
Gene had become a licensed plumber after graduating from Chelsea in 1953 and soon switched careers when he was offered a job at Phillips Petroleum in 1962.
During his time at Phillips, he worked in multiple states including Wyoming, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.
Gene moved to Elkhart, Kan. with his family in 1966 and became president of the All-Sports Club and an avid fan of his sons’ high school football team.
He soon stepped in as a statistician for their Friday night games.
In 1977 Gene was transferred to Kingfisher with his wife and eventually retired from Phillips in February 1995 after a committed career span of 33 years.
Gene had many personal interests and hobbies throughout his life, including bowling, hunting, and fishing with his family and close friends.
If there was one thing Gene loved as much as his wife, it was being outdoors.
Hunting pheasant and quail was a passion of his two sons Kavin and David from an early age. Eventually, his sons-in-law and grandchildren went on their outings.
Another of Gene’s favorite times was taking his beloved boat out on the lake with some of his good friends whenever the opportunity arose. It was customary to call the Marcum household and hear Iris reply that Gene was back fishing.
Even a few weeks before his death, he was remembered saying, “I’ve got to get this boat out of my backyard, it’s too tempting.”
Other days he spent tending his garden and keeping everything in tip-top shape, from mowing the lawn to patching his fence.
Gene enjoyed spending his time working in his little backyard shop. He was excited for his Purple Martins to return year after year.
He even appreciated his magical green thumb by bringing his parents’ transplanted peonies back for another flowering season for him and his wife to enjoy.
Also, if you knew Gene, you knew about his passion for the OU Sooners football team.
He was the proud season ticket holder for 18 years. He made sure he didn’t miss a game, live or later, as he watched one of his many recorded games for replay, analyzing every player and point from his favorite armchair.
He would often wear his headphones at home to listen to the game’s local radio broadcast while simultaneously watching the TV.
As most know, television can be a little slower than radio, and Gene couldn’t help but scream in celebration.
The rest of the family would have to wait for the delayed game to appear on screen.
This, too, led to a great love of attending his grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s sporting events from the sidelines.
He couldn’t have been prouder of all of them.
As the years passed and Iris’ health deteriorated, Gene never left her side and began to care for her with the deepest affection and devotion, making their nearly 65-year marriage only more meaningful to him and the witnesses to its depth.
Many had told Gene how much they admired his care for them, and Iris’ last days will always be remembered by his family.
After she passed away on September 23, 2021, Gene became an avid supporter of First Baptist Church’s Grief Share Ministry and often attended the group meetings.
His testimony in that ministry soon prompted several others to enroll in the program. There they also found collective support in their grieving process.
It was through his beliefs that Gene lived his life and from where he acted. His church family was a big pillar for him. He cherished and remained in constant gratitude for these friendships and the tremendous support.
He savored every moment of chance encounters with them throughout the Kingfisher community. Even in a room full of people, whether he was your father, grandfather, brother or friend, Gene made sure you knew how unique and special you were to him.
His boisterous laugh and arm around his shoulder were unmistakable and felt by everyone.
The most important thing for Gene was his great love for family, it was big and unconditional; the same was returned to him by those who affectionately called him “Dad.”
Gene passed away peacefully at his home on Friday September 30, 2022 surrounded by his family.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents Henry and Lulu Mae Marcum; brother, Jim Marcum; son, David Marcum; and his beloved wife Iris Marcum.
Gene is survived by his children and their spouses: Kavin and Kim Marcum of Tyler, Texas; Melody and Paul Boeckman of Tulsa; and Marsha and Jim Mueggenborg of Kingfisher.
Gene also leaves behind his grandchildren: Hailey and Mitchell Weigt, Brittany Marcum, Niki and Greg Black, Jamie and Dustin Griffin, Tanner and Carrie Mueggenborg, Cody and Chelsea Broyles, Cole and Erin Broyles, and Brooke Marcum.
Gene has 12 great-grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews, dear friends and church families who were very dear to him and his wife.
The family would like to express their deepest gratitude to the First Baptist Church family and grief team for their loving support, prayers, meals and acts of kindness.
A very special thanks to the staff at Russell-Murray Hospice for their compassion and exceptional care.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial gifts in honor of Gene Marcum to the First Baptist Church of Kingfisher or Russell-Murray Hospice.
A service honoring the life of Gene was held Tuesday, October 4 at Kingfisher First Baptist Church. Burial followed in Woodlawn Cemetery, Claremore.
The services were conducted by Wilson Funeral Home-Kingfisher.