Gene was born in Bellaire, Ohio on March 23, 1923, a son of the late Pasquale and Giovannina Rampini Benedetta.
Gene was a graduate of Bellaire High School, Class of ’41; and a Marine veteran of WWII. He retired from Metropolitan Life Insurance Company as a debit agent after 35 years of service; and also worked for the Ohio Fireworks for over 60 years as a pyrotechnician. He loved, fireworks and always did his best to give people the best shows possible. One of the shows that he was the most proud of was the dedication of the Mackinaw Bridge in Michigan in 1957.
Gene and Betty were the foster parents for the Catholic Children Services in the 60’s and had over 16 babies in their care. These children were placed with them to be loved and cared for until they went on to their permanent homes.
Gene was an avid bowler for over 50 years and bowled in two leagues and many tournaments around the country. He loved vegetable gardening and always had a huge garden that he loved to share with friends and family.
Gene was a member of St. John Catholic Church; the American Legion Post 52; IAC Club, all of Bellaire; and while he was retired in Florida he was an active volunteer at JFK Hospital; and the American Legion Post No. 164 Baseball program of the high school leagues.
He was married to his beloved Betty Brinker on September 25, 1948 and she preceded him in death in April of 2000. He was also preceded in death by his brothers, Anthony (Tony) and Vincent Benedetta.
Gene is survived by his beloved children, Jennifer (Jack) Buzek of Greenacres, Fla., Cathy of Shadyside, John of Lake Worth, Fla. and Ray of Shadyside; his grandsons, Brian (Amy) Buzek of Lake Worth, and Jason (Juliette) Buzek of Loxahatchee, Fla.; and his six great-grandchildren, Paulette, Luis, Juan Carlos, Katrina Marie, Jessica Lynn, Joseph Matthew, and a much loved and expected great grandson, Blake in November; 16 nieces and nephews; and many great nieces and nephews. He was also “Papa Gene” to a special “daughter,” Michelle Tustin of North Port, Fla.
Friends will be received on Sunday from 2-8 p.m. at the Bauknecht Altmeyer Funeral Homes and Crematory, 441-37th Street, Bellaire.
Funeral Liturgy with Mass will be celebrated on Monday at 10 a.m. at St. John Catholic Church with Msgr. Gene Mullett as celebrant.
Burial will follow in Mt. Calvary Cemetery.
A special memorial service at the Mt. Calvary Cemetery will be done by the Ohio Fireworks Company.
Memorial contributions may be made to Valley Hospice.
Online condolences may be extended to the family at www.altmeyer.com.