Eugene LeRoy Shurte, 87, of Wanatah passed away Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019.
He was born Nov. 20, 1931, in Wanatah to John and Grace (Schlundt) Shurte. Gene graduated from Wanatah High School in 1949 and proudly served in the United States Army. He worked hard as a farmer on the Shurte family farm until the late '70s, and later made his career as the La Porte County Highway Superintendent for 30 years. Gene was an avid sports fan and a captivating story teller. He especially enjoyed cheering on and encouraging his daughters and grandchildren in their many sports and activities. Gene was a loving husband and father, who gave selflessly to his beloved community in a plethora of ways.
Gene was a member of Hanna Methodist Church, a lifetime member and 4-Term Commander of the Wanatah Legion Post 403, was involved in the Wanatah Parks Board, Wanatah Public Library Board, Cass Township School Board, Cass Township Advisory Board, Wanatah Chamber of Commerce, La Porte County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Michiana Auto Club, Masonic Lodge 192 of Westville 33rd Degree, Scottish Rite, and Orak Shrine. Gene was the founder and creator of the Wanatah Scarecrow Festival and managed the event for 20 years. He served passionately as the La Porte County Fair General Manager and Director for 10 years. Gene received the Circle of Corydon award from Governor Holcomb for his years of volunteer work, and was recently presented with the Centennial and Sesquicentennial Hoosier Homestead Award from the state of Indiana.
On Aug. 24, 1957, in South Bend, Gene married Elaine Sacks, who survives, along with their daughters, Jeanine (Kirk) Hockney of Zionsville, Susan Martin of Wanatah, Sheryl (Barry) Johnson of Valparaiso, Barbara (Jim Gold) Shurte of Corpus Christi, Texas, and Alissa (Mike) Clemons of Wanatah; grandchildren, Ashley and Keegan Hockney, Brian (Andrea) Shurte, Mark and Alayna Johnson, and Alex and Max Clemons; and great-grandchildren, Luke and Lily Shurte. He was preceded in death by his parents; and son-in-law, Gene Martin.
A visitation will be held on Friday, Aug. 30, 2019, from 2:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Wanatah Funeral Chapel, 309 N. Main St., Wanatah. A Celebration of Life will begin on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the funeral home, with burial to follow at Hanna Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Unity Foundation of La Porte County, 422 Franklin St., Suite C, Michigan City, IN 46360. Donations will be distributed to local, charitable organizations.