June 6, 1933 - July 20, 2014


Gene Petrie, of Nisswa, MN, passed away Sunday, July 20, 2014. He was born in Minneapolis on June 6, 1933 to Eugene and Vera (French) Petrie. After graduation from Washburn High School in 1951, where he was active on the swim team – and at one time the Minneapolis City Champ Free Styler – he joined the Navy where he served on the destroyer USS Dyess as a ship’s diver during the Korean Conflict.

In 1954, he followed his dream of a future in the field of aeronautics and began his classes at The Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, OK where he earned his classification as an A&E mechanic and was hired by NWA.

1956, he married Jean Ingerson, with whom he had three sons, Ken, Greg and Dan. In 1961, the family moved to California when he was hired by Flying Tiger Airlines as a Flight Engineer. During his 28th year career with “Tiger’s”, he traveled to many countries all over the world and worked with many interesting veterans of the WWII AVG Group headed by Claire Chennault. Over the years he realized his goal of earning his captain’s stripes and retired in 1989 as a 747 Captain when the Flying Tigers was sold to Federal Express.

Gene is survived by his wife of 58 years, Jean and sons, Ken (Pattie) with their son, Harold and great-grandson, Antonio, Greg (Svetlana) and their family, Alycia, Alex and Nikolai, and Dan (Cindee) and their family Ellie, Johnnie. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Richard.

Services will be held at 4:00 PM, Saturday, July 26, 2014 at Lutheran Church of the Cross in Nisswa with Reverends, Andy Smith, Ray Haugland, and Dan Gordon officiating. Family and friends are invited to gather one hour prior to services.

Memorials are preferred to Wounded Warriors Project and Good Samaritan Hospice.