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Gene Beito, 79 Print E-mail
Written by TRF Times   
    Thief River Falls - Gene Beito, 79, died on Friday, Oct. 19, 2012 at Thief River Care Center in Thief River Falls.
    Memorial services were held Tuesday, Oct. 23, at Zion Lutheran Church in Thief River Falls, with Rev. Ale Tulu and Rev. John Golv officiating. Honorary casket bearers included Gene’s grandchildren, Benjamin David Beito, Kimberly Genadry Beito, Rebecca Beito Sutherland, Joseph Beito Sutherland, Hannah Li Beito Sutherland, Ella Mei Beito Sutherland and Raquel Beito Wong. Military honors were provided by the American Legion Ecklund-Holmstrom Post 117, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2793, and Army National Guard Honor Guard.  Interment was held at Greenwood Cemetery in Thief River Falls.
    George Anthony Beito was born on Jan. 11, 1933 to George A. and Anne J. (Strande) Beito. He was named for his father George and his mother Anne which is where Anthony came from. His nickname Gene was derived by his parents as the first two letters of his father's name and the last two letters of his mother's name. He was baptized and confirmed at Samhold Lutheran Church in Gonvick. He had a wonderful childhood in Gonvick and graduated from the Gonvick High School as Salutatorian in 1951. His time at St. Olaf College made a great impact on his life where he graduated with a degree in Chemistry in 1955.
    He attended the United States Naval College and served in the Navy from 1955 to 1958 as a Lieutenant in Air Intelligence. In 1957 he married Gretchen Urnes in Minneapolis and they made their first home in Jacksonville, Fla.
    Upon his discharge from the Navy, he and Gretchen moved to Gonvick, where they lived in a trailer house near Pine Lake. He joined his father at The Northern State Bank of Gonvick as  Assistant Cashier. In 1960, they moved to 301 North Maple Ave in Thief River Falls. Gene enjoyed participating in the Christmas light display in this vital and active neighborhood.
    He began his banking career in Thief River Falls as Vice President of Northern State Bank of Thief River Falls becoming President of the bank in 1965, as well as President of the banks in Gonvick, Oklee, and McIntosh. He became President of Marshall County State Bank in Newfolden upon acquiring a controlling interest in 1974. He remained President of the Thief River Falls bank until 1994 and was President of the other banks until 2002.
    Gene was active in the community serving as President of the Thief River Falls Chamber of Commerce, founder of the Northland Community and Technical College Foundation, Chairman of Northwest Medical Center, board member of the TRF Public Library when the current library building was built,  President of the Hartz Foundation, Treasurer of the Valley Home Society, and President of the Zion Lutheran Church Foundation. He was named Outstanding Young Man by the Thief River Falls Jaycees in 1962.    
    Gene was a member of the Rotary Club, the Eagles and the Elks Club. He was also very active in the banking industry serving on the American Bankers Association Education Policy Council, the American Bankers Association Executive Council, Chairman of the Minnesota Bankers Agricultural Committee and as President of the Minnesota Bankers Association in 1977.
    Gene said the most satisfying part of his life was enjoying his life with his wife, children, his children's spouses and his grandchildren. Upon his semi-retirement in 1994, he enjoyed traveling to many important cities and sites in the world with Gretchen joined on these trips by friends and many times by his sister Shirley and her husband Glen.
    For 26 years, Gene led an active and full life despite being afflicted with Parkinson’s Disease, thanks to the constant help and support of his dedicated wife Gretchen, his family and many friends, acquaintances and health care providers. His focus and interest was always on the people around him and he never lost his sunny disposition and positive outlook on life.
    Gene is survived by his wife of 55 years, Gretchen; children, David (Mireille), Kathy (John) and Laura (Yale); his grandchildren, Ben, Kim, Becca, Joey, Hannah, Ella and Raquel; and his sister Shirley (Glen) Gronlund.
    He was preceded in death by his father George and his mother Anne.
    Family condolences may be sent at www.johnsonfuneralservice.com.
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