Gene Francis Bechen was born on May 15, 1959, the son of Raymond and Marie (Henkenious) Bechen in Denison, Iowa. He was baptized and later confirmed his faith at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Denison. He attended Denison schools and graduated with the class of 1978.
Gene married Judy Kleber on October 3, 1981, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Fort Dodge and they were blessed with two children: Jeff and Amy. Gene worked at Farmland Foods in conjunction with the roles of Secretary TreasuTreasurerre and Vice President for UFCW Local 440.
Gene was a member of St. Ann Catholic Church in Vail. He loved the outdoors and especially enjoyed hunting and fishing. He will be remembered for his delicious and secret tomato juice recipe, preserved from his garden that he had every year. Above all, he cherished spoiling his grandkids.
Gene passed away suddenly at home with his wife by his side on Thursday, November 16, 2023, at the age of 64 years, six months and one day.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Chris Bechen. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Judy Bechen of Vail; two children: Jeff (Brandie) Bechen of Missouri Valley and Amy (Thomas) Drinnon of Kansas City, Kansas; six grandchildren: Ashlyn, Lane, Brynlee, Simon, Lily, and Aspen; siblings: Mary Bechen of Seattle, Washington, Janet (Kevin) Bichinsky of Topeka, Kansas, Joe Bechen of Huron, Montana, Phil (Nancy) Bechen of Fort Dodge, Tom Bechen of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Jim “Brother Louie” Bechen of Missoula, Montana, and Angie Bechen of Seattle, Washington; siblings-in-law, Joe (Fran) Kleber of Leadville, Colorado and Jean (Bill) Maguire of Nevada, Iowa; numerous nieces and nephews; and many other relatives and friends.
Gene’s wishes were to be cremated. The family will hold a Celebration of Life from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 25, 2024, at the Community Building in Vail.