May 27, 1935 - May 7, 2018

 

Memorial services celebrating the life of Eugene J. “Gene” Kivi, 82, of St. Cloud will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 16, 2018 at Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church in Rice. Gene passed away peacefully with family by his side on Monday, May 7, 2018 at the St. Cloud Hospital from complications of a stroke. Pastor David Edge will officiate. Burial will be at a later date at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery, Little Falls. 78
Visitation will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday at the church. Arrangements are with Daniel Funeral Home, St. Cloud.

Gene was born on May 27, 1935 in a sauna on the shores of Strawberry Lake, Becker County, Minnesota to Axel and Rauha (Numellini). He attended a one room school house in rural Ogema and graduated from Detroit Lakes High School. Gene proudly served in the US Navy during the Korean War. He obtained a degree in drafting from Dunwoody Institute. Gene lived in the Twin Cities for many years and enjoyed working for Johnson Filtration. He transferred for work to Beckley, West Virginia and later Charlotte, North Carolina where he retired in 1992. While in Charlotte, he met his wife Mary, on Dec. 7, 1990 and they were married on June 26, 1993. In 1997, they relocated to Rochester to be closer to family. And once again in March 2017 they moved to St. Cloud to be near family.

Gene lived his life with a philosophy of “too one of whom much is given, much is expected”. He was active with the Community Action Program, Community Food Response, Reading in the Schools with Youth and social justice programs at St. Francis Church and Operation Christmas Child.

Gene enjoyed woodworking, spending time with family-especially at Strawberry Lake, fishing and his honey bees. He will be remembered for his generosity, his pranks and his joking.

He is survived by his wife of almost 25 years, Mary; daughters, Deb Anderson of Shafer, Shirley Bandukia of Wichita Falls, TX; Trish Kivi of Houston, TX; grandchildren, Jamie Medelberg, Dustin and Dillon Anderson; great grandchildren, Berkley, Paisley, Averie, Lilly and Hayden; brother, Roy Kivi of Seattle, WA; and many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Catherine, Peggy, and Gertrude; and brothers, Heimo, Vaino, and William.

Memorials are preferred.

An additional Celebration of Life Gathering will be held at the family home on June 23, 2018.