George "Bill" H. Gee Jr.
September 30, 1930 – November 3, 2020
George “Bill” Hugh Gee, Jr.
George Hugh Gee, Jr. passed away peacefully on November 3, 2020, with his loving wife by his side. He was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, on 9-30-30, the first and only child of George Hugh and Georgia Taylor Gee. He was named after his father, but the nurses nicknamed him “Billy the Turk” because of the bandages wrapped around his head following a difficult birth—and the name stuck. He was called “Billy” until college, when he switched to “Bill.” His tales of having to walk through deep snow “uphill both ways” to get to school evoked a bit of sympathy in his children until he got to the part where he “had to” ride a pony to school some days. He graduated from St. Joseph’s Central High School and held fond memories of playing football there.
Bill met the love of his life, Eulalie (Lee) Haley, at a bowling alley in Columbia, Missouri, while a student at the University of Missouri. College life went by quickly but he formed lifelong bonds with his Delta Upsilon brothers. In one whirlwind week of June 1953, he graduated from MU, received his commission as a Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force, and married Lee. After his tour of duty in the USAF in Portland, Oregon, they moved to Wichita, Kansas, where his parents had moved while he was in college. Bill worked at several businesses and ran his own trucking company, Arrow Transfer. The people he worked with—his father at the Moose Lodge and his dear friend, Art Farnham, at Piping and Equipment—were the highlights of his jobs. But the driving force of his life was his family. He was who he loved, not what he did.
He mentored his young son in the YMCA’s “Indian Guides” program and he ate a lot of Girl Scout cookies. The YMCA program gave him a lifelong interest in the history and culture of Native Americans, and he never stopped liking cookies either. He also loved going places, whether it was a trip to the farmer’s market or a trip to Europe. His family treasures memories of individual trips with him—his son’s national shooting competitions, skiing with his daughter, a special summer Colorado adventure with his 10-year-old twin grandsons—as well as family ski trips and summer vacations, almost all road trips. He really hated to stop—for anything—along the way, so much so that we ran out of gas one winter in rural Colorado. He coasted the ’68 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser to a stop across from a farmhouse which turned out to have a gas pump and he swore he planned it that way.
He told us he couldn’t even boil water, but after retirement, he stunned his family—most of all, his wife—by discovering the joys of cooking. He and Lee prepared delicious Sunday brunches for their children and grandchildren and, eventually, great-grandchildren, every week for many years. He enjoyed his time at Larksfield Place, and even there, his family benefited from his considerable skills as a handyman, mostly on a consulting basis.
He leaves behind a deeply grateful family: Lee, his wife of 67 years, son Bill Gee (Teresa), daughter Kimberly Gee Vines (Monte), grandchildren Andy Gee, Brian Gee (Liza Jackson), Thomas Gee (Kenzie Bishop), all of Wichita; Christine Vines, Matthew Vines of Dallas, TX, and great-grandchildren Roslyn and Madilyn Gee and Hudson Gee, of Wichita.
Bill and his family deeply appreciate the genuine care and loving attention he received in Healthcare at Larksfield Place and from the kind souls of Hospice there. A masked and socially-distanced graveside service will be held on November 28th at 2:00pm at Lakeview Cemetery, 12100 E. 13th Street, Wichita, KS.
Saturday, November 28, 2020
George "Bill" H. Gee Jr.
November 27, 2020
Lee, Bill, and Kim,
Our family sends our condolences on the loss of Bill. I speak from experience that it is a pain that will slowly heal and instead of sadness, you will remember the good times and laugh.
For many years of dad's Moose life one of us kids worked there. Me being the youngest worked the longest and I worked many various positions. We served our time washing glasses on Saturday nights. I was upgraded to the concession stand on Friday nights for square dancing, and of course Wednesday and Sunday Bingo. I was so happy to move up again to the food line for Bingo. I'm not sure if the dining room bus girl was a step up or a place that needed to be filled. The worst place had to be addressing the Moose Ramblings on that loud machine next to the ballroom stage. And summer at the pool from the lockers to head guard to a somewhat of a manager position. After I turned 21, (the following weekend) I became a cocktail waitress!
But the most entertaining job was working in the office with Bill and Dad. I would sit in the private office doing bookwork and hear the two of them laughing. They were ALWAYS coming up with something. Dad would tell Bill, "Hey, I got an idea" and off they would go. Some worked out some not so good. Bill was right with Dad on the newest adventure. The most popular one for me was Labor Day at the pool and the watermelons for all. Every time I see a watermelon, I see our dad's with knives from the kitchen slicing up watermelon after watermelon.
May your hearts heal in the months ahead. You will have those good days and bad days, but the good will overcome the bad as time goes on. I would like to imagine when Bill got to the pearly gates, dad was there to greet him with, "Hey, I've got an idea" and off they went laughing and giggling.
God Bless, Cindy Baxter-Page
November 8, 2020
Rest George, until you hear at dawn,
the low, clear reveille of God.
Thank you for your service to this nation. U.S. Air Force.