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Gene DeLong
June 16, 1937 - May 24, 2024

Eugene “Gene” DeLong, 86, of Oelwein passed away Friday May 24, 2024 at MercyOne Medical Center in Oelwein.  A Celebration of Life will be held from 4:00-7:00 PM on Monday June 3, 2024 at the Geilenfeld-Buehner Funeral Home in Oelwein.

Eugene Francis DeLong was born in Oelwein on June 16, 1937 to parents George and Helen (Hungerford) DeLong.  He graduated from Maynard High School with the class of 1955.  On January 15, 1955 he was united in marriage with Florence Treptow in Oelwein. 

Those who knew Gene found him to be humble and modest about himself, always preferring to give others their credit.  Yet he was passionate about our environment, and conservation and preservation of our earth.  His relationship to, and his care for the welfare of his fellow animal friends, plants and trees, gave him great comfort and satisfaction.  Gene was a trail-blazer of sorts, succeeding in making a living as a furrow-to-finish pig farmer on his “Shady Eighty” during a large part of his working years.  When he retired to a Minnesota lakeside home, he was the first resident on this lake to plant and establish a lakeshore restoration project to minimize erosion of the lakeshore.  Each Spring he would anchor a floating loon nest, and he would successfully attract a loon mom and dad to choose to lay their eggs and tend to their babies in the comfort and safety of his home-made nest.  Gene’s interest in fishing evolved to monthly testing of the water quality, and delivering the water samples to the area testing station for evaluation and monitoring.  His loyal dog, Gracie, also survives him.

Gene loved and valued his human counterparts as well, adopting three Korean daughters after mostly raising three sons.  As if he needed more responsibilities and generosity in his life, he and his wife sponsored a Hmong family from Laos after the Vietnam War left thousands of refugees struggling in primitive camps, waiting to be sponsored and brought to safe countries around the world.  This family of seven lived in the DeLong farm basement apartment for eight months until they were adequately acclimated to their new culture, language and environment, and could safely live independently and the husband/father found employment.

In lieu of a cemetery monument, the DeLong family has placed a resting bench marked by descriptive inscriptions along the Oelwein bicycle/walking trail in the woods just south of Platt Park.  Please utilize the trail and sit a spell on this bench next time you are out enjoying our precious and fragile environment!

Left to celebrate Gene’s life are his wife Florence; his children: Marc (Nancy) DeLong of Minburn, Tracy (Bobbi) DeLong of Strawberry Point, Drew (Chami) DeLong of Decorah, Holly (Ed) Baldwin of Nashua, Noelle (Brian Batterson) Coleman of Oelwein and Angel (Joe) Knaub of Silverdale, WA; his nine grandchildren; his two great-grandchildren with two more on the way; his sister Alice (Roger) Mangan of Littleton, CO; his sister-in-law Mari Ann DeLong of Oelwein.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Norm DeLong.

Geilenfeld-Buehner Funeral Home

309 1st Avenue NE  |  Oelwein, IA  50662  |  Phone:  319.283.4653

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