Eugene "Gene" Utzka, 84, of Albert Lea, passed away peacefully on Thursday, May 11, 2023, at St. John's Lutheran Community in Albert Lea.
Born on January 15, 1939, in Minnesota Lake to the late John, Sr. and Anna (Baumgartner) Utzka. A proud veteran of the United States Airforce, Gene served his country from 1958-1961. On February 19, 1966, he was united in marriage to Ann Wilder in Wells, MN. Shortly after they purchased their first home in Manchester, MN. Together the couple shared 57 years of marriage and raised five children: Dawn, Sandra, David, Nichole, and Brandon. In 2015 they purchased a condo and moved to Albert Lea, MN.
Gene worked as a Forklift Operator at Streater, Inc. in Albert Lea for 37 years and a volunteer firefighter in Manchester. Strong in his faith, he was a member of St. Theodore Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, VFW clubs of Wells and Albert Lea, a lifetime member of the Moose Lodge #1703 of Albert Lea. He was a member of the Ulstad AA club, Gene proudly celebrated 37 years of sobriety. An avid outdoorsman, he enjoyed fishing, hunting, gardening and spending time with his family.
A memorial mass will be held at 10AM on Saturday, May 20, 2023, at St. Theodore Catholic Church, in Albert Lea, with Fr. Kurt Farrell celebrating. Visitation to be held one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be held at St. Theodore Catholic Cemetery.
Left to cherish Gene’s memory are his wife, Ann; four children, Dawn (Scott) Lightly, Sandra, Nichole, and Brandon Utzka; daughter-in-law, Bobbie Jo Utzka; four grandchildren, Samantha, Trevor (Michaela), Tyrese, and Elijah; six great-grandchildren; brother, James “Red” Utzka; brother-in-law, Marvin Wilder; sisters-in-law, Marcella and Barb Utzka, and Jan (Dennis) Wilder, and several nieces, nephews and extended family.
In addition to his parents, John and Anna, Gene was preceded in death by his son, David; brothers, John, Jr., Lloyd, and David Utzka; brother and sister-in-law, Norbert and Kathi Wilder; sister and brother-in-law Margaret and David Wanous; sister-in-law Mary Ann Wilder and special family friend, Tim Lewis.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Theodore Catholic Church, 315 E Clark St, Albert Lea, MN 56007 or Mayo Hospice, 200 First St. SW, Rochester, MN 55905.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the staff at St. John’s Lutheran Community and Mayo Hospice for the compassionate care they gave to Gene.