June 25, 2021

Gene Surber


Gene Lewis Surber was born February 1, 1942 in Leon, Iowa. The only child of Kenneth Edwin Surber and Dorothy Carol Lewis Surber. He passed from this life June 3, 2021 at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines, Iowa surrounded by his family.

Gene grew up in Decatur County attending Woodmansee country school, Decatur City school and graduating in 1960 from Leon High School.

Three days after graduating he began working at E.I. Sargent Quarries in Decatur City. He started by driving a truck and then began operating heavy equipment. He continued working when Martin Marietta Aggregates took over Sargent Quarries. He was a lead man and eventually became plant manager, a position he held when he retired after 45 years.

Gene married Ronda Neff in 1966 in Nebraska City, Nebraska. Two children blessed this union: a daughter Lori Lynne and a son Gregory Shayne. The family moved from Decatur City to Osceola in 1977.

Gene fished, hunted, and collected antique fishing equipment. Gene was an avid coin collector, a hobby he shared with his mother from an early age until the end of his life. After retiring, he began to research genealogy, tracing his family back to 1582 in Switzerland. Gene and Ronda enjoyed taking spontaneous trips, not packing a suitcase, just grabbing a wallet and purse and buying what they needed along the way...wherever they decided to go. After the loss of his beloved Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Molly, he enjoyed the daily companionship of the neighbor’s cat, Barney. Gene enjoyed life and everything it had to offer, especially meeting people. He particularly enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s sporting events.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Ronda; daughter, Lori Garner and husband, Corey; son, Gregory Surber (Stephanie Whitten). Grandchildren: Lance Surber, Garett Garner, Calli Garner, Aubree Surber and Olivia Surber. Children of the heart: Susan and Bill Jones. Grandchildren of the heart: Brittany Cline (Justin) and Tyler Jones; Milkinli, Carson and Sutton.

Services will be held at Kale Funeral Home, Wednesday June 9, 2021 at 11 a.m. with Pastor Chuck DeVos officiating.

The family will greet friends from 10-11 a.m. Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at Kale Funeral Home.

If you are unable to attend the service in person, a live stream will be available at www.kalefuneralhome.com on Gene’s tribute wall beginning at 11 a.m., Wednesday.

Interment will be in the Maple Hill Cemetery

Online condolences may be directed to the family at www.kalefuneralhome.com