Eugene "Gene" Larkins died on January 12th, 2013 at the age of 91. He was a resident in Whittier California for 62 years. He was born in Twin Falls, ID on June 9, 1921, the child of Fred Owen and Sadie Maria Larkins.
Gene attended high school in Perris California where he excelled as an artist and baseball player. Perris High School's mascot is a Panther which was designed and painted by Gene and is still in existence today.
Gene joined the Army Air Corps on Dec 15, 1941. After completing basic training, he eloped to Yuma, Arizona, to marry his high school sweetheart, Juanita Mildred Miller, on Feb 28, 1942 and had a son Mel Larkins. Gene went to Wayne, NE for Air Crew Training and was deployed to the Aleution Islands in an air defense battery. He was re-deployed as part of a Military Police Platoon to the 102d Infantry Division arriving in France on June 8, 1944 at Utah Beach and moved to the German-Netherlands border entering combat. In November 1944, he was involved the attack and crossing to the Roer river near Krefeld to enter Germany advancing toward Berlin. Gene was involved in the famous battle of the bulge remembering "the entire English Army was headed up the road in the wrong direction". In April 1945, Gene was re-assigned to the 103d Infantry Division and was part of the forces which liberated and mopped up the infamous concentration camp at Dachau and received an honorable discharge on Sept 28, 1945.
After the war, Gene married Evelyn Sue Hanes in 1946 at the Southside Church of Christ in Los Angeles and attended school at the LA Arts Center. Following school, he worked for Walt Disney Studios drawing Donald Duck.
Gene and Evelyn settled in Whittier California and had two children Sue and Brad Larkins. He was the owner of Larkins Sign Company on Whittier Blvd. To this day, there are many signs that where originally designed and painted by Gene throughout the Whittier area.
Gene was active in the Whittier Church of Christ. The family traveled often with it's Church "family" to vacations such as Yosemite and Tahoe. He was an active trout fisherman enjoying many Lake Crawley opening days and was an original member of Friendly Hills Country Club and enjoyed golfing.
Gene was predeceased by his parents Fred Owen and Sadie Maria Larkins and his brothers and sister Ellard Grant Larkins, Duard Fred Larkins, Robert Arie Larkins and Betty Maxine Larkins-Fogliasso.
Gene leaves behind his wife of 66 years Evelyn, three children, Mel (and Bambi) Larkins, of Simpsonville NC, Sue (and Tony) Alesi of Brea CA, Brad (and Chris) Larkins of Newport Beach CA. In addition he leaves six grandchildren and four great grandchildren.
Gene will be buried at the Riverside National Cemetery.
Arrangements under the direction of Rose Hills Company, Whittier, CA.