Clinton Eugene “Gene” Nance, 78, of Parsons was surrounded by his loving family as he was called home to be with our Lord on Friday, May 10, 2019.
He entered this world May 16, 1940, to his proud parents, Clint and Minnie (Hunt) Nance, in Hepler. He attended schools in Parsons and Galesburg.
On Aug. 20, 1958, Gene married the love of his life, Mary Margarita Leon, in Miami, Oklahoma. They celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary by renewing their wedding vows at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Parsons. The couple enjoyed over 60 years of true love.
Gene and Maggie moved to Clinton, Iowa, where nine of their 10 children were born. The family moved to Parsons, where they lived for several years, and welcomed the 10th child. They then lived in Erie for 16 years before settling back in Parsons.
A master “jack of all trades,” Gene earned a living using his many gifts and talents. While in Iowa, he worked at Hearth and Home Furniture Retail Store and owned and ran a stock car race track. Returning to Kansas, he worked at Kinzie Furniture Store. Later, Gene was a supervisor at Hi-Lo in Chanute. A job he loved and worked until retirement was being a child transporter for TFI, a foster care agency.
One of his proudest occupations was owning his own auction house in Parsons. Being an independent man, Gene truly enjoyed being his own boss. At that time, he restored furniture and installed carpet. Gene was such a talented furniture restorer, he could take a discarded piece of furniture and make it into a masterpiece. He was a modern day Jed Clampett or a Sanford and Son person who gave true meaning to “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
An avid participant in auctions, he loved antiques and collectibles. He often took treasures and restored furniture to flea markets in Canton, Texas, Kansas City, Missouri, and his favorite spot, Tulsa.
Gene was a competitor and an avid baseball fan. Because of his love for the game, Gene coached his daughters in softball and his sons in baseball. Many will remember him as “Coach Gene.” He loved watching his grandkids and great-grandkids in all their sporting activities.
Gene was an adventurous soul. He enjoyed traveling, race car driving, hustling a pool game, fishing, camping and hunting, especially with his family. Always the proud husband, he loved boasting about taking the fish off the hook for his squeamish wife.
Gene and Maggie are proud members of Mother of God Catholic Church in Oswego. He was a loving, protective husband and father who showed the world how to raise a tribe that believes in the family bond of support and love.
Survivors include his loving wife, Maggie (Leon) Nance; six daughters, Vickie Lee Broadwell and her husband, John, of Edna, Arra Mae Whittley and her husband, Junior, Sally Jean Robison and her husband, Kevin, all of Altamont, Rose Ann Martin and her husband, Mark, Mary Jo Fitzwater and her husband, Richard, all of Parsons, and Teresa Lynn Nance of Pittsburg; three sons, Robert Allen Nance and his wife, Judy, Richard Eugene Nance and his wife, Connie, and Jacob Daniel Nance, all of Parsons; 29 grandchildren; 53 great-grandchildren; three brothers, Charles Nance and his wife, Sandy, Tom Nance and his wife, Thu, all of Missouri, and Don Nance and his wife, Marge, of Iowa; two sisters, Allena Brasher and her husband, J.C., of Missouri and Cindy Goodwin and her husband, Jim, of Texas; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Clint and Minnie Nance; his firstborn daughter, Rita Marie Nance; his firstborn grandson, Jeremiah David Broadwell; and a brother, Leroy Nance.
The funeral Mass will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Mother of God Catholic Church, Oswego. Burial will follow at Mound Valley Cemetery. The rosary will be prayed at 7 p.m. Thursday at Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home. The family will receive friends at 7:30 p.m. immediately following the rosary.
Memorials are suggested to the Gene Nance Memorial Fund, Midwest Transplant Network — Donate for Life or TFI — Foster Family Fund and may be left at or mailed to the funeral home, P.O. Box 374, Parsons, KS 67357.
Online condolences may be left at www.forbeshoffman.com.