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Obituary of Eugene J. “Gene” Spannenberg

Eugene “Gene” John Spannenberg, the son of George William Spannenberg, Sr. and Kathryn (Pflantz) Spannenberg, was born September 24, 1927 in Chicago, Illinois and peacefully passed away on September 9, 2018 at Country Place Senior Living, Belleville, KS at the age of 90 years, 11 months, and 15 days.
Gene was baptized at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, attending St. John’s Lutheran School and later graduating from Carl Schurz High School all in Chicago. He attended the Wright College (Chicago), receiving his A. A. degree and then the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree. He later attended and received a M.S. Degree from Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS.
Gene served with the U. S. Army during the Korean Occupation in Korea from 1946 until his honorable discharge in 1947.
Gene came to Belleville to play baseball with the Belleville Blues, a semi-pro baseball team. He later began teaching and coaching for the Belleville School District #427. He was a teacher and athletic coach for 37 years, coaching basketball, golf, assistant football coach, and was Athletic Director. He taught various subjects, but especially American History, Physical Education and Driver’s Ed. He also was the sponsor or co-sponsor of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes for 31 years. He was inducted into the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame at Dodge City, KS in 2002.
On June 15, 1952, he was united in marriage to Wynona Beth Marty. The couple was married 66 years and to this union was born: Eric, Nancy, and Karen.
Gene was a member of the Kansas Coaches Association, the Kansas National Education Association, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Belleville Country Club, the Belleville Lions Club, The Gideons International, and a member of the American Lutheran Church where he held various offices and was a long time Sunday School Teacher. He enjoyed a lifetime hobby of model railroads and sharing his collection with the community.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, George and Kathryn (Pflantz)
Spannenberg; and one brother, George W. Spannenberg, Jr.
Gene is survived by his wife Wynona B. Spannenberg of Belleville, KS; one son, Eric (Rhonda) Spannenberg of Taos, New Mexico; two daughters, Nancy (Michael) Phillips of Groveton, NH, and Karen (Kevin) Breen of Findlay, OH; four grandchildren, Joseph Breen, Patrick Breen, Grace Phillips, and Dru (Amanda) Combs; two great grandchildren, Vincent Combs and Anna Combs; other relatives, and friends.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 P.M. Saturday, September 15, 2018 at the American Lutheran Church, Belleville, KS with PMA Al Urich, officiating.
Interment will be at the Courtland Cemetery, Courtland, KS.
Visitation will be from 1 PM until 8 PM on Friday, September 14, 2018 at the Bachelor-Surber Funeral Home. The family will greet friends Friday from 5 PM until 6 PM.
Memorials are suggested to the American Lutheran Church, Belleville; Meadowlark Hospice, or the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Online condolences at
Bachelor-Surber Funeral Home, Belleville, KS is in charge of the arrangements.


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