Obituary: Eugene “Gene” Kuhler

Brentwood-Oak Hills NA Past President, Gene Kuhler, passes

It is with great sadness that I report the news that Gene Kuhler died on Sunday, June 11. He had been at a rehab facility for a few weeks, (for strength and balance exercises) came home last week, took a rapid downturn, and hospice services were engaged Friday evening. He died at home, surrounded by his wife and family.
Gene was President of the Brentwood-Oak Hills Neighborhood (BOHN) Association for 4 years from July 2009 through June 2013, and he volunteered as a BOHN COP from 2003-2015, attended the Code Blue meetings and CAC meetings held at the HM Rec Center.
Gene also served faithfully on the Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations during some of those years when he was BOHN president, never missing a monthly board or quarterly general meeting of the League.
Gene was the BOHN team leader for the Cowtown Cleanup, and in his daily walks with his dog, picked up trash on his street.
Tobi Jackson sent in this picture of Gene from a recent Eastern Hills High School game. The five Kuhler children attended EHHS, & Gene loved Football.
Gene will be dearly missed by his neighbors and many friends.
Truman and Patsy Marshall were close friends and kept in touch with Gene and Gene’s wife Patricia. Services will be at Shannon Rose Hill. (Where two of their sons are buried.)
Funeral Services for Gene Kuhler have been set for 2:00 p.m. Saturday, June 24, at Shannon Rose Hill Funeral Chapel and Cemetery, 7301 E. Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth, TX 76112. 817-451-3333

Eugene (Gene) F. Kuhler, 86, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Sunday, June 11, 2017 at home in his beloved neighborhood in Fort Worth, Texas.
Celebration of life for Gene is at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 24th at the Shannon Rose Hill Funeral Chapel Fort Worth, Texas.
Gene was born in Rhineland, Texas on January 31, 1931 to Lawrence Joseph and Minnie (Bruggeman) Kuhler. Gene was a graduate of St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas and was a veteran of the Korean War. Throughout his professional career, he was a salesman with various companies. His greatest passions were the news, politics, gardening, bird watching, golfing, traveling around the country, NASCAR racing and fishing. He loved his neighbors and neighborhood. He served as President of his neighborhood association from 2009 to 2013 as well as participated in many other community efforts. He loved getting to know people, taking care of friends and family, making people laugh and helping everyone he knew. He was a great husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather and great-grandfather and will be incredibly missed by all of us. He had a huge impact on all our lives and left us with many great memories.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years Patricia (Thompson); sisters Anita Thresher (husband Colby), Corine Gieb (husband Hal) and brother Tim (wife Darlene); four children David (wife Dawn), Amy Groff (husband Jerry), Michael (wife Toi), Richard (wife Peaun); 3 grandchildren Ryan Groff (wife Katie), Emily Groff and Nicole Kuhler; and great-granddaughter Skylar Groff. He is preceded in death by his three sons Robert, Steven and James; and sister Dolores Watson and husband Mort.

At his funeral service, friend, neighbor and first BOHN President, Rita Vinson gave the following Eulogy:

Eugene “Gene” F. Kuhler Eulogy

By Rita M. Vinson    

My name is Rita Vinson.  I met Gene Kuhler in 1998 at a meeting of the fledgling Brentwood-Oak Hills Neighborhood Association, which is sometimes referred to by its acronym “BOHN.”  I had just become its president, by default, when our first, interim president James Willingham died following heart surgery in September 1997. With gradually escalating roles, Gene became the glue that helped me hold this organization together over the ensuing 12 years I served as its president.

Simply put, Gene was a good man.  But it goes much deeper than that may sound.  He took his responsibilities seriously, whether to family, neighbors, or the to the community at large.  His dedication and hard work were unsurpassed.

Gene served from 2003 to 2015 (12 years) as a BOHN Citizens on Patrol (or COPs) volunteer.  The cadre of BOHN COPs has been the backbone of the neighborhood association.  In fact, the neighborhood association was an outgrowth of the BOHN COPS, which were created as part of the Code Blue community policing program initiated by Police Chief Tom Windham.  If you look around, you’ll see some people here today proudly wearing their Code Blue shirts to honor one of their own who has fallen.  Gene, like the other BOHN COPs, viewed those weekly patrolling responsibilities as a sacred trust, looking after the safety and well being of the neighbors.  And our group has continued to function long after COPs groups in many other neighborhoods dissipated.

On the first Monday of the month the FWPD has held public meetings since 1998 providing speakers covering a wide range of topics with officers reporting on crime stats in their district.  These meetings were called Community Advisory Committees (CACs.) Originally there was one for each of the 12 police districts in the city, but now the only one that has continued to meet is the one in East Fort Worth, which meets at the Handley Meadowbrook Community (Rec) Center for Neighborhood Police Districts (NPD) # 4 and 5.  Gene Kuhler served as recording secretary for these monthly meetings for at least 3 years:  2004, 2005, and 2006, with Harvey Roberts from Central Meadowbrook Neighborhood Association as its president.  Together they kept these meetings going and relevant.

In the Brentwood-Oak Hills Neighborhood (BOHN) Association, Gene filled many roles.  He served on the nominating committee at least 3 years (e.g., 2005, 2007, and 2015.)  This is a key role for the future of any organization: to identify and persuade viable candidates to serve on the board for the coming year.  He also served on the audit committee.  Then he was elected to serve as vice president for membership for 2 years (July 2007 to June 2009.)  That led into his being elected to serve as BOHN president from July 2009 to June 2013 (two terms), planning quarterly meetings of the general membership and annual events with Eastern Hills Neighborhood Association for the July 4 Parade and the fall National Night Out on Crime.  Gas drilling was a hot topic during all of those years, and he also fought to keep the Meadowbrook Branch Library open.

There are two activities for which Gene made a profound contribution to the BOHN Association for many years, not just during his years as president.

From 2003 to 2015 Gene single handedly coordinated BOHN’s annual participation each spring in the Great American Cowtown Cleanup with volunteers bagging trash to beautify our neighborhood.

The other activity—which cannot be overstated in terms of his effort and commitment—was distribution of the BOHN Bulletin newsletters to BOHN’s 458 houses at least three times per year.  He and I rotated in coordinating the effort to recruit about 30 block distributors, but we never, ever had enough distributors.  Gene always did more than anyone else in distributing newsletters door to door for  extra blocks—rain or shine, hot or cold.

As BOHN president, Gene was automatically a voting member of the Neighborhoods of East Fort Worth, an alliance of neighborhood associations in East Fort Worth.  Also, he was the voting delegate to the quarterly meetings of the Fort Worth League of Neighborhood Associations during those 4 years.  And he became a board member of the League for 3 of those 4 years, missing only 1 of the monthly meetings of that citywide group of neighborhood leaders. Gene was director of municipal affairs for the League’s board.

So this gives you some idea of the scope of his involvement in neighborhood and communitywide issues and the level of volunteer work and the type of leadership he exemplified. It doesn’t tell you what a kind and considerate and modest person he was.  Maybe you were one of the fortunate ones who received tomatoes fresh from his garden or zucchini bread fresh from Patricia’s oven, or a Christmas card, and even a Thanksgiving Day card.

I am reminded of a time when my mother left one job to go into another one.  It took three people to fill her old job.  It will take at least three people to fill Gene’s shoes, and even so, none would match his heart.

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