Eugene Henry Gabert, 83, of Blackfoot passed away Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 at Bingham Memorial Hospital surrounded by family and following a long and extended battle with severe complications from diabetes.
Gene was born the last of nine children Dec. 22, 1928 at the family homestead in Aberdeen to David and Emily [Emilie or Amelia] Gabert, formerly of Consta/Svastopol, Romania; David was the son of Andrew [Andreus] Gabert and Emily the daughter of Jacob Schweigert, born 1846, Borodino, Russia; David and Emily settled around 1911 at Flat Top, then Aberdeen.
He was preceded in death by siblings Hilda, Godiff, Edna, Herb, Al, Paul, Freida, and Ed Gabert.
Following their parentsâ€™ death in 1940 and 1943, Ed and Gene moved to the Salmon River at Bayhorse and then near Hat creek, where they farmed and ranched together. Gene joined the Army in 1946, and on Feb. 22, 1947, married Barbara Ann Salisbury, who also preceded him in death from cancer on Sept. 10, 1974.
Gene is survived by his wife of 26 years, Connie J. Crystal Watson. They were married April 26, 1986, in Virginia City, Nev. He is also survived by four sons, David Eugene Gabert, Allan Wesley and Eileen [Wheeler] Gabert, Richard Jay and Rhonda [Moore] Gabert, and Rocky and Pat Watson, with 12 grandchildren: Troy and Robbie Pottenger, Scott Dixon, Chad Allbrett, Sarah Fournier [Gabert], Laurinda Gabert, Heidi Gabert, Boise Andrew [Bo] Gabert, Heather Ann Gabert, Ronnie Sue Bosquez, Connie M. Dominguez, and David P. Lewis and numerous great- grandchildren.
Gene was also preceded in death by his daughter, Donna Lee Pottenger, and his second wife, Darlene Trahan, who he divorced in 1984. He is survived by her daughters Patty Tea and Jackie Wall.
Gene and Barbara mined from Contact, Nev., to Patterson, Cobalt, then farmed and ranched at Clover Creek near King Hill.
Gene and Barbara bought Zimâ€™s Plunge in New Meadows before moving back to Coeur dâ€™Alene, then Mackay in 1971. He enjoyed trading in real estate and ranches. Gene was elected the Big Lost River watermaster 13 times, and loved the challenging dynamics of Idaho Water Law and applying the flood-irrigating family tradition.
Connie and Gene lived at Bartlett Point above Mackay, where she worked at the Lost River Hospital while Gene ran the water; Rocky and Pat Watson also lived and worked and performed music in Mackay during this time and Gene enjoyed country music, dancing, and having fun. Gene and Connie developed and sold the Bartlet Point property and moved to Blackfoot in 2002.
He served in the United States Army and mostly drove jeep for the brass; Gene was a perfect marksman who, it was said, never missed a target! This can be seen by the massive 31-point prize mule deer buck he shot while farming there in the Challis area.
Gene was a lifelong and traditional follower of the Lutheran Church, but also enjoyed playing the accordion and dancing to polka and country music.
A Celebration of Life, viewing and services are scheduled from noon until 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012, at the Hawker Lost River Funeral Home, 345 Sunset Drive in Arco.
Interment will follow at Mount McCaleb Cemetery in Mackay with a continuing celebration at Kenâ€™s Club Banquet Hall in Mackay.
Condolences may be sent to the family at firstname.lastname@example.org.