OBITUARY: Kenneth Eugene Travis Jr.

Kenneth Eugene Travis Jr. passed away at age 89 on June 14, 2019, at Salem Home in Hillsboro, KS.  He is reunited with his parents, brother Glenn Edward, and son Tim.

Gene was born on Sept 23,1929 in Wichita, KS to Kenneth and Minerva (Schmitt) Travis.  He graduated Newton High School in 1947, got a job with the railroad and  then joined the US Air Force.  Gene served our country for four years, an experience that led him to a career with the Federal Aviation Administration.  He worked as an electronic technician at the Wichita Airport.  He was trained in early computers and radar technology and maintenance of microwave transmitters in the field. He worked for the FAA until retirement.

Gene was married to Bonnie Kennedy from 1955 to 1975.  To the union, there were three children, daughters Christy and Tracey, and son Timothy.

Gene loved sailing and weekends usually found him at Marion Lake or Reservoir.  He was an avid bowler.  He took part in many leagues and tournaments, winning a city doubles tournament partnered with his son Tim.  The next time it thunders, we will be thinking of Gene and Tim having a drink over strikes once again.

He was a lifetime member of the American Legion and thoroughly enjoyed camaraderie and shooting pool with his fellow veterans.  After retirement, Gene helped computerize records and finances as Adjutant and also served as Commander of the Newton Legion.  He volunteered many years with the American Legion Memorial Services at Greenwood Cemetery, participating in flag raising and gun salutes with the color guard.  Upon discovering unmarked graves at Greenwood Cemetery, he purchased markers to commemorate those lives.

Gene loved the Chicago Cubs, Marilyn Monroe, and having a Wellers and cigar on his front porch swing.  Later in life, the family met yearly in the Ozarks to celebrate his birthday and his six grandchildren will always have memories of touring the (surprisingly many) caves of Missouri and boating on the lake.

Gene collected guns, knives, coins, stamps, notary seals and just about anything else that caught his interest at auctions and flea markets.  EBay will see a dip in activity with his passing.  Gene’s sarcastic wit has been passed down through the generations, making for entertaining family gatherings.  Those who knew Gene saw the soft heart beneath a gruff exterior.  He sent valentines and birthday cards with humorous and heartfelt original poems.  Gene was a loving and beloved father and grandfather.

Survivors include his two daughters Christy (Charles) Barre and Tracey (Gerry) Roberts; six grandchildren; and four great grandchildren.

As cremation has taken place, graveside services and inurnment will be held at 3:00 P.M., Saturday, July 13, 2019 at the Greenwood Cemetery.

After which friends and family are encouraged to come to the Newton American Legion between 4:00 P.M. and 7:00 P.M. for fellowship where the Legion will also be having their steak dinner night.

A memorial has been established with the Disabled American Veterans and Newton Meals on Wheels, contributions may be sent to Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, 120 E. Broadway, Newton, Ks. 67114.

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