Herald Journal Obituaries


Willis ‘Gene’ Ring, 74

Willis Eugene “Gene” Ring, age 74 of Cokato, died suddenly Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2005 at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.

He was born Sept. 13, 1931 in Ipswich, S.D., the son of Lloyd and Marie (Pew) Ring. The family moved to Waverly when Gene was 6 years old, and later moved to Cokato when Gene was 10.

He attended Beaver Dam Country School, later attending high school in Cokato, and graduating with the class of 1950. Gene went on to attend the School of Business in Minneapolis for two years.

He worked at the creamery and other odd jobs, along with helping his dad farm.

In 1954, he entered the US Army for a two-year term. Returning in April of 1956, Gene started his airline career, working for the airline for 41 years. He was able to see the many changes in the airline industry and fellow workers over the years, and said of his career, every day was a little bit different from the day before. Gene always said he enjoyed his job and the people he worked with.

Gene married Betty Tuey in 1957 at the First Baptist Church in Cokato. They lived for many years in Minneapolis, while continuing to help on the family farm.

In 1970, Gene and Betty built a home on the farm and moved back to Cokato, while Gene still worked at the Minneapolis airport. The commute was 120 miles a day, and continued until Gene retired in 1997.

Gene and Betty adopted a son, Jerry, who had roots in the western United States. When Jerry was grown, he returned out West, making his home in Wyoming.

After losing his wife, Betty, in 1988, it was a hard time for Gene to be alone. He kept busy farming with his brother-in-law. He greatly enjoyed going out to suppers with his many friends.

Gene is survived by his special friend, Nancy; his son, Jerry (Kim) Ring; grandchildren Deanna (Jim) Parton, Joshua, Chauntal, and Tina; a great-grandson, Jon Parton; sisters, Alta Mae (Virgil) Morris of Cokato; and Lois Ann (Harold) Hanson of Hutchinson; nieces, nephews, and many friends.

Gene was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Betty; and a brother Wallace.

Funeral services were Saturday, Oct 8 at First Baptist Church of Cokato, with the Rev. Dan Swanson officiating. Music was by Jean Paulson and Beth Roelofs. Interment followed in the First Baptist Cemetery.

Arrangements were by Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home, Inc., Cokato.

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