Eugene T. “Gene” Waldorf, age 84 of Grey Eagle, passed away peacefully on Saturday, February 29, 2020.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:30 a.m. Friday, March 6 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Freeport with Rev. Daniel Walz officiating. Interment will be at Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Little Falls on Monday, March 9.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Patton-Schad Funeral Home in Melrose and from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. Friday at the church in Freeport.
Gene was born in St. Cloud, MN to Frederick and Erma Waldorf on February 25, 1936. He graduated from St. Cloud Cathedral High School in 1954. He married Bernadine Riemer on April 25, 1959 in Little Falls, MN. He was a 1964 graduate of the University of Minnesota Institute of Technology and spent most of his career as an engineering specialist, designing automated manufacturing equipment for the 3M Company. In his early work at Honeywell Corporation, he worked on the guidance system for an Apollo Space Mission. Gene served twelve years as State Senator for District 66 in St. Paul and in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1976 to 1980. He completed his service in the legislature in 1992. He was a Korean War era veteran, serving in the Army.
Gene loved adventures and enjoyed sailing, gardening, woodworking, putting out loon nests each spring, checking for invasive species on the lake, piano playing, golfing, reading, and running in 5 marathons. He cherished time with family, especially when he could whip up some of “Grandma’s pancakes” on a Sunday morning. He had a keen sense of direction and, with Bernie, took the family on many road trips, including a memorable trip from Minnesota to El Salvador. He was an active member in the Catholic Church, serving as lector, choir member, Eucharistic Minister, Trustee, driver for monthly Masses for the Handicapped, speaker for Sacrificial Giving, and presider at word and communion services.
Gene's community service included serving as a Trustee and Board Chair of the Initiative Foundation, member of the St. Cloud Diocese Catholic Community Foundation Board of Directors, and the Advisory Board of the Sauk River Watershed District. Gene was an active member of the Big Birch Lake Association (BBLA), serving as its President from 1995-2007. In 2019, he and Bernie received the BBLA Friends of the Lake Award for their 27 years of service to the organization.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, Frederick and Erma Waldorf; brother, Ron and his wife, Marie Waldorf; sister, Margie and her husband, Ron Skelton; and other beloved extended family members.
Gene is survived by his wife of sixty years, Bernie Waldorf; his six children, Jeanne (Dean) Peterson of Upsala, Paul (Barb) Waldorf of Oakdale, Sr. Bridget Waldorf, SSND of Dallas, TX, Renee (Jody) King of Albany, John (Katie) Waldorf of Sunrise, and David Waldorf of Sartell; grandchildren, Curt (Lisa) Peterson, Matt (Lauren) Peterson, Christy (Adam) Wehlage, Anna (Tyler) Wolbeck, Amy Waldorf, Greg Waldorf, Megan Waldorf, Elizabeth Waldorf, Joshua Waldorf, Joanna Waldorf, Benjamin Waldorf, Anthony King, Zachary King, and Samantha King; great-grandchildren, Jack, Rohan, Charlie, Luetta, Addie, Phoebe, Oliver, and Charles; and many other relatives.
Memorials are preferred to Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life (MCCL).
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