Ellis Eugene Overturf
November 18, 1931 – December 30, 2018
Ellis Eugene “Gene” Overturf Nov. 18, 1931-Dec. 30, 2018 Age: 87 Residence: Greeley Gene passed away at home after a battle with Alzheimer’s, in the loving care of his family. He was born in Fort Morgan as the eldest son of Roy and Edna (Southard) Overturf. He grew up on Walnut St. with younger siblings Jack, Joe and Carole; who dug their own basement to beat the summer heat. Gene wrestled and drove the bus in high school including a brief drag race with another school bus across the Rainbow Bridge (it was a tie). Gene’s interest in flying resulted from watching WWII training flights of T6 (“Texan”) training planes in the nearby flight zone east of town. He was so enthralled he worked for a crop duster flying Stearman biplanes loading chemicals, and rode in the spray hopper for his first ride. The family eventually bought a restaurant called the ‘66 Cafe’, managed by Gene in the mornings (Jack in the afternoons) while their dad recovered from a burned hand; and his breakfasts of buttermilk pancakes fed the local oil patch and I-76 interstate construction men starting at 5:30 a.m. Gene attended Greeley for college (Colorado State College of Education - CSCE) as a Tau Kappa Epsilon member (Tekes) with his brother Jack, at the same grade level. The military couldn’t help Gene’s flat feet when he applied for service; however, Gene met his future bride by asking another girl pal to get a phone number from another really pretty girl in line. Jean Elizabeth Sheppard began dating Gene in a 1954 summer of love, exchanging almost a letter a day between Denver and Fort Morgan on the Railway Post Office, timing letters to catch the trains. Gene and Jean courted at Lakeside and Elitch Gardens in Denver until he got tired of sleeping in her father’s garage, and they secretly planned a Sept. 5th wedding. They were married at the Berkely Baptist Church in Denver on Quitman. Gene’s Art degree helped him get part time work in Greeley, and with a teaching certificate the newlyweds went to Hoxie, Kansas where Gene taught Industrial Arts, becoming a new dad the next June (mom taught English). The Overturfs returned to Greeley and Gene worked for Nelson, Haley, Patterson & Quirk, plus did private advertising, commercial art and drafting, including platting two developments in Alles Acres around their home and drafting house plans. Gene and Jean eventually had five boys and one girl, Mary, who passed away in June 1988, working at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park. Gene is now thankfully reunited with his daughter Mary. His life insurance career started with matriculation for Certified Life Underwriter (CLU) with Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee, Wis. Gene was a Million Dollar Round Table producer and sold retirement plans and group health coverage for 45 years at 1115 - 11th St., with his son Kurt in a house (now preserved along 35th Ave.). Trips to the NML summer annual meetings included stops at Oshkosh, Wis. for the Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association, and grand tours of the United States from Atlantic to Pacific, Mexico and Canada by motor home including canoeing. Gene served on the Weld County Airport board and flew planes with sons Mark and Greg in Blue Sky Flyers, designing the club logo. He was a district agent for NML in both Greeley and Fort Collins. Gene loved to be at his office early in the morning, and get haircuts at Hattie’s barbershop. Gene and his siblings hunted, fished and celebrated 4th of July in Fort Morgan every other year, attending Glen Miller Days at the airport. Gene is survived by his spouse, Jean; brother, John ‘Jack’ (Lin) Overturf; sister, Carole (Les) Hoff; sons, Mark (Debbie), Dirk (Kim), Greg (Jessica), Eric (Karla), and Kurt; and a large extended loving family. Gene is preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Edna Overturf; brother, Joe Overturf; and daughter, Mary Overturf.
Life Celebration Service will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 5, 2019, at Allnutt Macy Chapel, 702 13th St., Greeley. Graveside services following at Sunset Memorial Gardens, 3400 28th St., for the family only.
Memorial gifts can be made to the Salvation Army. Please visit www.allnuttgreeley.com to send condolences to the family.
Ellis Eugene Overturf
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January 5, 2019
Dear Aunt Jeannie and my fabulous cousins Mark, Dirk, Greg, Eric and Kurt, I am sorry to hear about the loss of of dear Uncle Gene. He was such a fun guy and made visits to Greeley so much fun ! I remember him tirelessly turning the crank on the ice cream maker to make enough ice cream for all of us on 4th of July parties. When he would let the irrigation water run over the yard and we would play in it. Getting tickets to Drums Along the Rockies, and picking corn out of his garden.
He had acrinkly grin and a sparkle in his eyes. Unless of course he was ready to leave one of our large family gatherings and he was trying to round up the rest of the Turfs to head back to Greeley. With a party of 8 that could be quite the feat! He would successfully get 5 or 6 people in the car, and when he went back to retrieve the last couple it seemed he lost 1 or 2 out of the car!! The whole operation was like watching circus clowns trying to jam into their tiny car. Uncle Gene was a good sport about it for the most part.
He helped me understand the value of life insurance as a young woman, and I gladly purchased my first policy from him! It helped me get through graduate school years later. I love you Uncle Gene, Rest In Peace. While you all miss him here on earth, take comfort in the many memories of him. Love and hugs to each of you ♥️ Lori
January 5, 2019
Hello Aunt Jeannie and my fabulous cousins, I was sad to hear about Uncle Gene for all of us left behind. I’ll always remember how many batches of ice cream he would tirelessly turn the crank on the old fashioned ice cream maker during summer visits. How he would let the irrigation water go and let us play in it. Corn on the cob from his garden.
He helped me as a young woman to purchase my first life insurance policy in an attempt to start me on my way to financial security. He was always ready with a quick smile and a twinkle in his eye! Unless of course, he was ready to depart a family gathering! We would laugh a little as he tried to round up the other 7 members of his family, he’d get 4 or 5 in the car and when he got the rest gathered 1 or 2 of the original group seemed to have disappeared!! I know you all have special memories of him, and they will help as time passes. Wish I could be there with you in person. Just know he was well loved as are you all!!Sending big hugs to you all, and love to you all as you lay him to rest Lori ❤️
January 4, 2019
Jean and family,
I was sorry to hear of the passing of Gene, as I know he will be missed; however, we know he is in a better place, and for that I'm grateful. We are praying for comfort and peace for you and your family. Gene was a valuable part of the Northwestern Mutual family for so many years, and I always enjoyed his kind smile and caring personality. I know he left a lasting impact on so many through his business and personally to those who knew him.
If there is anything any of us here can do for you, please don't hesitate to reach out to us.
January 2, 2019
Dear Jean, Kurt, Mark and the Overturf family,
Gene was the sweetest man. I so enjoyed working with him for close to ten years. He was quick with a smile and always soft spoken and kind. I will forever remember the fresh tomato, from his garden, and cottage cheese we ate for lunch all the time. He taught me so much in all the years I worked with him, both financially and about life. I will miss him greatly. Prayers and love to all the family.
January 2, 2019
Dear, Mark, Dirk and family,
Please accept sincerest and heartfelt condolences from my family to yours. I am certain your father was a great guy and loved by many.