Harlan Eugene “Gene” Hiett, 86
Harlan Eugene “Gene” Hiett, 86, of Clinton, Iowa passed away February 26, 2014 at Mercy Medical Center North facility. Honoring his wishes cremation rites have been accorded. A visitation is scheduled from 11:00 a.m. to noon on Friday, February 28, 2014 at the First United Methodist Church (236 7th Avenue South, Clinton, IA 52732). A Celebration of Life will immediately follow the visitation at noon at the church. Burial will take place at a later date in Berwick, Illinois. Lemke Funeral Homes is assisting the family with arrangements.
Gene was born January 18, 1928, near Berwick (Warren County) IL, to Harlan and Mabel (Icenogle) Hiet, he grew up surrounded by a loving, extended family. Gene’s last name was unique in that past generations of the family would often spell their last name by ending with one “t” and other family members with two “t’s”. Gene chose ending his last name as Hiett. He graduated from Roseville Township High School in 1946. Following high school he served in the US Army in the occupation forces in Okinawa, Japan, 1947-1948. He attended Western Illinois State Teachers College in Macomb for two years, a member of Phi Sigma Epsilon fraternity. He was united in marriage to Genevieve Hillen on November 24, 1950.
Gene hired out on the M&StL Railway as a fireman in Monmouth, IL, in 1950. As a locomotive engineer with the C&NW, he transferred to Marshalltown, IA, in 1969, and Clinton, IA, in 1979, retiring in 1989.
He served in various capacities in the United Transportation Union, United Methodist Men and the church, NARVE, VFW, Y’s Men, Boy Scouts, and NOMADS. Among his many interests were spending time with family and friends, people-watching, travel, dancing, current events, and sports (Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears, and Iowa Hawkeyes). Racquetball was a passion in which he was a feared competitor, earning trophies for each of his children. He once remarked that he loved being a father, “except those few years of hell between ’69 and ’84.”
Survivors include his wife, Genevieve; children, John (Mary Adams); Cynthia (Mike) Porter; Thomas (Candy Smith); Diana (Timothy) Nichols; a daughter-in-law, Karen Higgins; a sister, Carol Bower; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and cousins.
He was predeceased by his parents; brothers- Chet and Bob; daughter, Amy; son, Andrew; and daughter-in-law, Peggy Hiett.
The family would like to extend a special thank-you to the entire supporting staff at Mercy North and South; and to Gene’s at-home caregivers: A.J., LaTonya, and Connie.
Memorials may be directed to the church.
Online condolences can be left at www.lemkefuneralhomes.com.