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Gene O’Quinn, of Elyria, passed away on Monday, March 22, 2020 at the Louis Stokes VA Medical Center, Cleveland, surrounded by his family.
Gene was born August 30, 1946 in Boggs, West Virginia, to the late Albert and Helen (nee Fowler) O’Quinn. Gene came from a military family and enlisted in the United States Air Force in October 1965, serving in Vietnam from February 1967 to February 1968 in the 7th Air Force Security Forces and was also assigned to the Army and Korean Security Forces. Upon his return from Vietnam, he married his childhood sweetheart Patricia Jean McClung in April 1968. Together they had three children and five grandchildren.
Gene really enjoyed being with his family, especially his grandchildren and watching them all participate in sports. He would call or text them frequently sharing thoughts and always inquiring about how they were doing in school and reminded them all A’s and B’s would be rewarded. One of his favorite sayings was, “hard work always pays off”. Gene and Patricia enjoyed going camping and over the years owned several motorhomes and campers. Gene also enjoyed classic cars and has owned many throughout the years. He loved the Chevelles and Tri-Five Chevies, but his favorite was a 1951 Ford convertible, but as he said; “I love them all”. Gene loved sports and coached Little League East Baseball and his two sons and grandson played for him. Wonderful memories he said many times over. Gene retired from Republic Steel in May 2000 after over 30 years of employment. After retiring, Gene became very active in veterans service organizations, serving as Commander of VFW Post 1079, Elyria, for two terms and various other officer positions as well. He was All State and All American Commander for two consecutive years and selected Captain of Ohio’s All American Commanders. He was VFW Veteran of the Year in 2008. He was elected Commander of Council of Veterans. He was the first President of Honor Flight Cleveland in 2006. Gene was a life member of VFW Post 1079, Amvets Post 32, Elyria, and Vietnam Veterans of America. Gene was instrumental in getting the memorial built in Ely Square and the rename of Rt. 57 to include Veterans Memorial Parkway. He also had the memorial built in front of VFW Post 1079. Gene, as Commander of VFW Post 1079, was responsible for getting the Vietnam Combat Veterans Memorial “The Moving Wall” to come to Elyria in May 2009. He and his wife collected food and clothes and donated them to various homeless and needy facilities including churches.
Survivors include his wife Patricia J. (nee McClung) O’Quinn, daughter Angela K. of Elyria, sons Anthony B. (Amy) of Vermilion and Patrick (Dreama) of Elyria, four grandchildren; Caleb A., Abby M., Austin P., and Katee I.
In addition to his parents, Gene was preceded in death by his brother Albert Jr., sister Shirley Ann and granddaughter Megan.
Gene will be laid to rest at the Ohio Western Reserve Nation Cemetery, Rittman, Ohio.
In Gene’s honor, memorials may be made to VFW Post 1079 Honor Guard, 500 So. Abbe Rd., Elyria, OH 44035 or Honor Flight Cleveland, 724 Coralberry Lane, Madison, OH 44057.
Andras Crematory & Funeral Home, Lorain, entrusted with arrangements.