Gene Louis Wittler
LAKE CHARLES – Funeral services for Gene Louis Wittler, 84, were held at 1 p.m. today, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, at University United Methodist Church. Rev. Charles Langford officiated.
Visitation was held Monday, Jan. 7, 2013, from 3-8 p.m. and resumed today, Tuesday, Jan. 8 from 8-11 a.m. at Hixson Funeral Home and from 12 p.m. until service time at the church. Burial was in Highland Memory Gardens.
He passed away on Jan. 6, 2013, at a local care facility in Lake Charles.
Gene was born on Jan. 28, 1928, the son of Louis and Esther (Nickel) Wittler. He was a lifelong resident of Lake Charles. He was very active in both civic and church activities. He was a charter member of University United Methodist Church in Lake Charles, having served on numerous committees.
He was a cattleman, and a rice and soybean farmer.
He was a longtime member of the Southwest District Livestock Show and Rodeo Association board of commissioners, having served three years as president. As a youth, he was one of the participants in the very first Southwest District Livestock Show. He was an active supporter of 4–H and youth of Southwest Louisiana. He was the recipient of numerous awards on local, state and national levels.
He was an active member of Farm Bureau, having served as president of the Calcasieu Parish Farm Bureau from 1962 to 1967 and represented local and state rice farmers in Washington, D.C. He was a member of the Rice Research Board and the first chairman of the Louisiana Rice Promotion Board. He helped create the Louisiana Farm Bureau Soybean Marketing Association.
He served on the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury from 1964 to 1977 where he chaired many committees such as the Planning Committee for the Juvenile Center and the Coliseum. He was president of the Police Jury from 1973 to 1974.
He was the first Director of the Burton Coliseum, helping to get the facility open and running. He was instrumental in having the coliseum become home for numerous 4-H and FFA activities, local and state high school and college rodeos.
He is survived by his wife, Alma Wittler; a sister, Nola Mae Wittler Ross, both of Lake Charles; and his brother, Lee Wittler of Gillette, Wyoming; his son, Mike (Lurchel) Wittler of Lake Charles; and his daughter, Eileen (Eddie) Eskew of Jennings; his grandchildren, Michelle and Megan Wittler and Eric Eskew, Erin Eskew Worrell and Emily Eskew Schaumburg; and three great-grandsons.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Melba Price Wittler; and sister Athalie Wittler McFillen.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to University United Methodist or the Calcasieu Parish 4-H Foundation.
Words of comfort may be shared at www.hixsonfuneralhomes.com.
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