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Eugene Herbert LaGesse, Jr. (aka: Gene) was born on October 29, 1930 in Fort Worth, Texas. He was the oldest of 4 children born to Eugene H. LaGesse, Sr. and Julia Ann O'Connor LaGesse. He died August 12, 2023 at the age of 92 following a leng... Read More
Eugene Herbert LaGesse, Jr. (aka: Gene) was born on October 29, 1930 in Fort Worth, Texas. He was the oldest of 4 children born to Eugene H. LaGesse, Sr. and Julia Ann O'Connor LaGesse. He died August 12, 2023 at the age of 92 following a lengthy illness. He was married for 62 years to the love of his life, Floradell. The majority of his life was spent in Austin, Texas including 60 years in the same home he shared with his wife and raised his children. At this home, he also cultivated a wildlife habitat and practiced xeriscaping long before it was fashionable. He spent many hours savoring his native plants and watching the birds, butterflies and other wildlife that frequented his yard. He was a devout Catholic who attended mass faithfully and frequently prayed the rosary. After he became homebound and could no longer attend mass in person, he began each day watching the 7:00am mass on EWTN. He died wearing a scapular while holding a cross and a rosary in his hands.
He attended Catholic school in Fort Worth, and in May 1947 graduated from Laneri Catholic High School at the age of 16. After graduation he began working for his Uncle Dan O'Connor as a Dental lab technician which was the beginning of his dental career. He joined the Navy in September 1950 during the Korean War and served as a Dental technician until his discharge in July 1954. He served most of that time at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Japan. After leaving the Navy, he attended Arlington State University (now University of Texas at Arlington) and the University of Texas in Austin. He then went on to the University of Texas Dental school in Houston, where he achieved his Doctor of Dental Surgery in May 1961. He was a member of the Honorary Dental Society, Omicron Kappa Upsilon, all 4 years and graduated at the top of his class. Gene practiced general dentistry in south Austin for 28 years. After selling his dental practice in 1989, he went to work for Lester's Dental Lab as a lab technician, his dental career coming full circle.
Once he retired for good, he continued his passions of fishing, hunting, gardening and playing golf. He was an avid Longhorn fan and enjoyed watching them in multiple sports. Eventually, he began providing loving care in their home for Floradell as she suffered from dementia and other illnesses for over a decade until her death in February of 2018. After her death he continued to live independently in the home they shared until he became ill in late 2022.
Gene was a parishioner at St Ignatius Martyr Catholic Church in Austin for over 60 years. He served on the Parish council as well as the school board. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Men's club. In the early 1960's, along with a few other parishioners Gene worked with the State of Texas and the Diocese of Austin to gain State accreditation of the Catholic schools in Austin. He worked with the Capital Area Boy Scouts of America to set up several troops in the Austin area, including Troop 33 at St. Ignatius. He later served for several years as the Scout Master for Troop 33. He was also a member of the South Austin Chapter of the Rotary Club, serving as its president in 1968 - 1969.
Gene was preceded in death by his wife Floradell Endres LaGesse, his parents, his sister-in-law Barbara LaGesse, as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. He is survived by his brothers Phil LaGesse and John LaGesse (Patti); his sister Julia Ann Lusero; his children: Jeanne Muller (Johnie), Daniel LaGesse (Teresa), and Anne Marie Pellar (Cliff); his grandchildren: Adam LaGesse (Krystal Mealy), Sarah Campbell (Andrew), John Muller (Krisangel Lopez) and Justin Muller; great grandchildren: Blake Chou Rynders, Kristopher Smith and Eugene Campbell; step great grandsons: Arthur and Rowan Campbell; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
The family would like to especially thank Cella Bella Hospice, whose nurses and caregivers provided Gene with gentle and painstaking care, and his family with tremendous support. We would also like to thank the CNA's, Medication Aids and Nurses at Park Manor who tenderly took care of him for 8 months.
Active Pallbearers: Adam LaGesse, John Muller, Justin Muller, Johnie Muller, Cliff Pellar and Phil Endres. Honorary Pallbearers: Chris Gunter, Blake Chou Rynders, Kristopher Smith and Eugene Campbell.
The family will receive friends from 5:00 to 7:00 PM on Friday, September 22, 2023, at Harrell Funeral Home of Austin. US Navy Honors will be rendered and a rosary will be recited at 7:00 PM.
A funeral mass will be celebrated at 10:00 AM on Saturday, September 23, 2023, at St Paul Catholic Church. The family will host a reception following the service at the Parish Hall.
Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in this book.
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