Eugene A. Abert, 91, of Highland died on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at University Nursing & Rehab Center in Edwardsville.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 21 and from 8 to 9:45 a.m. on Friday, April 22 at Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland. A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 22, at St. Paul Catholic Church in Highland with Father Pat G. Jakel, pastor, officiating. Burial will be in St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Highland.
He was born on Jan. 25, 1925 in Alhambra to Emil and Ella (Neuenschwander) Abert. On Feb. 27, 1954, he married Donna A. Barva at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Mount Vernon, Ill. She passed away on Oct. 19, 2007.
Mr. Abert was born on the family farm at Kaufman Station, southwest of Alhambra. He attended West Country School, then St. Jacob School for one year, and graduated from Highland High School in 1943.
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He served as a master sergeant with the U.S. Army and had duty in Korea. He was with the 1st Infantry Combat Engineers. He received the Korean Service Medal and the Army Occupation Medal-Japan.
Before and after his Army service, he worked at Wicks Organ Co. in Highland. He was a foreman in the mill room, building organ pipes and cabinetry. He retired after 53 years.
Mr. Abert enjoyed camping trips in his pop-up camper, traveling throughout Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee and Kentucky, and to Canada. In his retirement, he went on many senior citizen tours and also visited family and friends throughout the country.
He loved to fish and enjoyed taking his family to Silver Lake and other area lakes and ponds. As a master woodworker, he created tables, chairs, jewelry boxes, and wooden toys, including his own kitchen cabinets. He had a love for animals and enjoyed tending to his large garden and playing cards, especially pinochle.
He was a member of St. Paul Catholic Church. He was also a former member of VFW Post 5694 and American Legion Lee Iten Post 439, both in Highland.
Survivors include daughters, Elizabeth J. (Michael) Wharton of Kansas City, Mo., and Diana L. Rogier of Highland; sons, James D. (Marjorie) Abert Sr. of Highland, Paul W. (Laura) Abert of Broken Arrow, Okla., Gary R. Abert of East St. Louis, Rex O. Abert of Tallahassee, Fla., and Curtis C. Abert of Champaign, Ill.
He is also survived by his grandchildren, Martin (significant other Leawana Parker) Vulliet of Kansas City, Kan., retired Marine Corps Gunnery Sgt. Lisa (Gunnery Sgt. Paul Buskey, USMC retired) Buskey, of Blufton, S.C., Joseph (Treva) Vulliet of Dallas, Ga., Vanessa (James) Vulliet-Smith of Kansas City, Mo., Vicki Campbell of Kansas City, Mo., Jeffrey (Jessica) Wharton of Garland, Texas, Carrie Sue Abert of Ovieta, Fla., James Abert Jr. of Ovieta, Fla., Anna Elizabeth Abert of Highland, Aaron Rogier of Highland, Dr. Benjamin (Kaytlin Reedy-Rogier) Rogier of St. Louis, Mo., Eric Rogier of Carbondale, Ill., and Sarah Elizabeth Abert, Mylinda Abert, Rachel Abert, Eli Abert, Hannah Abert and Michela Abert, all of Broken Arrow, Okla.; great-grandchildren, Jessica Buske, Christopher Vulliet, David Vulliet, Lacy Vulliet, Mina Campbell, Sabaistian Campbell, Tyler Ghesani, Vanessa Wharton, Zoey Smith and Maranda Meschino; and a sister, Julia Loyet of Troy.
He was also preceded in death by his father, who died on Nov. 21, 1952; his mother, who died on Jan. 20, 1984; a son-in-law, Charles L. “Chuck” Rogier, who died on Nov. 1, 2007; brothers, Erwin Abert, who died on March 22, 1977, Arthur Abert, who died on Oct. 27, 2001, Clarence Abert, who died on July 15, 1995; and Paul Abert, who died at age 9 days; and sisters, Amanda McCalla, who died on Jan. 6, 1992, Ida A. Tabor, who died on Jan. 14, 2004, and Alma C. Wall, who died on July 13, 2011.
Memorials may be made to Meals on Wheels or the American Cancer Society.