Gene F. Baltes, 94, of Tiffin, passed away Monday, June 20, 2022. He was born June 19, 1928, in Darke County, Ohio, to Lewis and Edna (McEldowney) Baltes, the oldest of nine children. He married Elizabeth “Betty” Schulze August 28, 1952, at St. Peter and St. Paul Church, Fort Loramie. She preceded him in death after nearly 38 years of marriage on March 20, 1990.
Survivors include five children, Marla (Steven) Baughman of Strasburg, Joan (Jon) Lord of Arlington, Texas, Wanda Long of Hilliard, Julia (Larry) Bennett of Columbiana, Alabama, and Robert (Christine) Baltes of Waterville; 12 grandchildren, Brian (Christine) Baughman, Lisa Baughman, Scott (Ashlee) Baughman, Adam (Angelina) Lord, Elizabeth Lord, Matthew Long (and fiancée Miriam), Samuel (Jacque) Long, Jeffrey (Jessica) Bennett, Ryan Bennett, Paul Bennett, Andrew (Stephanie) Baltes, and Samantha (Jacob) Spizziri; 17 great-grandchildren (plus two more on the way); seven siblings, Joseph (Linda) Baltes, Lou Edna Fullenkamp, Marlene Bettinger, Cletus (Carolyn) Baltes, Helen Lovell, Carolyn Phelan, and Deborah (Paul) Eaton; several of Betty’s siblings and in-laws; a multitude of nieces and nephews; and his dear friend, Helen Gaietto.
He was preceded in death by an infant sister, Mary; sister, Rose Mary Raterman; six brothers-in-law, Tom Raterman, Floyd Fullenkamp, LaVern Bettinger, Jim Phelan, Bill Lovell, and Wayne Godbout; and several of Betty’s siblings and in-laws.
Gene graduated from Versailles High School in 1946 and from The Ohio State University in 1950. Gene was a member of Air Force ROTC throughout college and went into active service from 1954-56. He remained in Air Force Reserves until 1966.
Gene was raised on a farm and obtained a B.S. in agriculture. Upon college graduation, he began work with U.S. Soil and Water Conservation Service (SWCS) in Wood and Wyandot Counties before moving to Tiffin in 1965 to head up Seneca County District Office, where he remained until his retirement in 1986. That year, Gene and his wife Betty acquired real estate licenses, and they worked together at Coldwell Banker, Tiffin. After Betty’s death, Gene continued to work as a realtor throughout the 1990s, and then became an appraiser of foreclosed properties for Seneca County, working in this capacity until earlier this year.
He was a member of St. Mary Church, Tiffin, and a 4th Degree Knight, as well as Past Grand Knight, at Knights of Columbus. He was a member of Serra Club, as well as other organizations over the years, such as the Calvert school board in the 1970s. Gene was in Knights’ bowling league until well into his 70s, and he played golf in the Catholic League during the entire 57-year existence of Seneca Hills Golf Course, still playing at 93 years of age. When working with the SWCS, Gene helped with the original design of Seneca Hills, with respect to grading, drainage, and the design of the water features.
Gene was a man of strong faith, character, and integrity. He was a walking encyclopedia and he could repair just about anything. He enjoyed visiting with his family, travel, photography, Sudoku, participating in various organizations and activities, and reading numerous publications and books covering a wide range of topics. Gene kept up with the times, using his computer and smart phone technology even into his 90s. Always pragmatic and stoic, he handled his recent illness with grace, expressing his appreciation of the good and long life that God had provided him.
Visitation for family and friends will be 3-6 p.m. Sunday, June 26, 2022, at Traunero Funeral Home and Crematory, 214 S. Monroe St. Tiffin, Ohio 44883 (419) 447-3113. The Knights of Columbus will stand as Honor Guard from 4-6 p.m.
Prayers will be said at 9:30 a.m. Monday, June 27, 2022, at the funeral home followed by the funeral Mass at 10 a.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church. Rev. Matthew Rader will officiate. The rosary will be recited 30 minutes prior to the Mass at the church. Burial will take place immediately following in St. Mary Catholic Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary Catholic Church, Serra Club, or charity of your choice.
To send condolences to the family, to order out-of-town flowers, or to view the Celebration of Life video, go to www.traunerofuneralhome.com.
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