Eugene “Gene” Schroeder Fick, 89
Eugene “Gene” Schroeder Fick passed from this life on March 8, 2014 in Clearwater FL.
Gene was born August 19, 1924 to George A. and Josephine J. Fick in Tomah WI. His father was killed by lightning in 1929 while trout fishing. His family moved to La Crosse WI where Gene attended German Lutheran School, graduating from Logan High School. Gene’s physical size and strength helped him become a star football and basketball player, which earned him a college scholarship. However, World War II intervened; he served in Company C Signal Corps in France, Germany and Japan.
After being honorably discharged, Gene enrolled in college, now known as the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point, where he excelled in football and basketball. Sports did not consume all of Gene’s interest as fellow student, Mary H. Noble, won his heart. On August 20, 1949 they were married at the Methodist Church.
Gene, fatherless from age 4, and Harrison Noble, Mary’s father, easily connected. While still in college, Noble offered Gene the position of managing the Noble Hatchery; Gene gladly accepted.
Daughters, Terrie and Mary, and son, George, were born. George was diagnosed with Down’s syndrome, so the family’s focus changed with his birth. Gene worked long days at the Noble Hatchery, sharing time with his children at night, while Mary re-entered the University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point to become a Speech Therapist.
Gene was instrumental in creating the Sheltered Workshop in Stevens Point, which evolved into Community Industries Corp. under his guidance as President and Director. He and Mary helped to develop a local pre-school for handicapped children; Gene served as President of the Portage County Handicapped Children’s Association, and was active in the Evening Lions Club, Izaak Walton League and ELKS. He was President and member of the Stevens Point South Side Business Association.
Gene had a deep love for conservation and outdoors activities. Beginning in 1962, he camped with his family each summer. Gene’s passions included hunting and fishing. Since 2007, Gene’s health had declined and the family enjoyed warmer winters in Oldsmar FL.
Gene is survived by Mary, his wife of 64 years, daughters- Terrie (Randy) Groshek and Mary Fick Monteith, son- George Fick, grandchildren- Steven Groshek and Allison (Ahren) Schaefer, great-grandson- Kayden Schaefer and sister- Joanne (Raymond) Zimmerman. He was preceded in death by his father, his mother, and his sister- Shirley Linhart.
Cremation has taken place, and condolences may be sent to: Mary H. Fick, 2625 Peck St. Stevens Point, WI 54481. A Celebration of Life will take place in Wisconsin in late spring. Memorial contributions may be made to Community Industries Corp.