Cover photo for Eugene Harold Crain's Obituary
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1939 Gene 2023

Eugene Harold Crain

May 12, 1939 — December 8, 2023

Whitehall

EUGENE (GENE) HAROLD CRAIN 1939 – 2023

On December 8, 2023, Gene left his family to join his mother, father and brother in Heaven. He was born to Harold and Lillian (Norbeck) Crain in Butte, MT on 5/12/1939 joining his brother Donald. 

 He attended school in Butte graduating from Butte High School in 1957. After a short term at Montana School of Mines, he left the family business to work at various companies doing welding and mechanic work. 

 He was a master mechanic and journeyman welder. He later began his own business (EH Crain Welding and Repair) in Butte then moved to Whitehall where he has resided since.

 He married Sharon Ann (Chouinard) Crain and they later divorced. He then married Sally Ann (Zahn) Crain. They were together 52 years until his death. He was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather of 15 children, 27 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren.

 Gene was very artistic, some of his signs are still in use in Butte. He was an iron worker and could and did build many things out of iron, from railings to flumes. He worked on everything from cars to heavy equipment. He was a talented musician who could play almost any instrument by ear and owned a variety of them – some he received as gifts throughout the years. He loved to sit and play when he wasn’t working. He also loved to draw. Every Easter, he would draw on everyone’s Easter sack and was looked forward to each year as each one had a personal touch to that child. 

 He had a deep love for animals, and we had everything from gerbils to horses growing up. He always talked about his two favorite dogs Pug and Buddy that he had while growing up. He used to say that having animals and playing outside was good for our immunities.

 Camping was another activity he loved and many camping trips were enjoyed throughout the years. As the “kids” grew up and were coming and going, he would always say as they would walk out the door to “drive wrecklessly” as he sat in his favorite chair. It was his way of saying “drive safely”.

 He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Don, infant daughter Lillian Leona and infant grandson Joshua Nance. He is survived by his wife Sally, many sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, sons Mark (passed on 4/8/24), David, James (Glenda), Chris (Krissy), Robert (Roberta), Joseph (Kirsten), John (Shayla), Don (Megan), daughters Kym Vonada, Angela Leonardo, Wendy Smithen (Tim), Lisa Nance (Robert), Bobbi Jo Caballero (Dylan), Sally Gene Schuff (Jake), 27 grandchildren, 6 great grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

 His chair is empty now and his presence in our lives will be immensely missed. Drive “wrecklessly” Dad – until we meet again. We love you very much.

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