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Eugene Raymond Nouska

Eugene Raymond Nouska

August 31, 1946 - March 30, 2018

Gene Nouska lost his battle with ampullary cancer on March 30, 2018. While he didn't win the battle, he fought with dignity and courage, the kind that fills the history books that he loved to read.

How do you sum up a life from a boy playing pick-up baseball games with neighborhood kids all the way to a grandfather taking his grandson to Disney World?

Do you write a timeline? He was born August 31, 1946 to Joan and Orville Nouska. He was raised in Bloomington and graduated from high school in 1964. He married Kay on May 18, 1968. He enlisted in the Navy and was stationed in Vietnam and Greece as well as Norfolk, VA. Then he got a job with the Department of Agriculture. He worked in Minneapolis, Ft. Collins, CO, & Portland, OR. Eventually, Smokey Bear became his boss here in Duluth, where he raised three daughters. He retired in 2005 and then golfed and traveled. Sure, that's the facts but that's not all of Gene.

Gene was a planner, a traveler and a life-long learner. He loved sports, music and movies. He had a temper, which moderated as he aged. He was impatient, which got a bit worse as he aged. He worked without complaint and provided a safe, comfortable life for his family. He never regretted having no sons and was thankful to have three healthy kids. He taught his daughters to love camping, traveling, sports and to never laugh at anyone's dreams.

Is that how you summarize 71 years of hopes, dreams, plans, disappointments and triumphs? When we pressed Gene, he said to say: "A loving husband, a loving father and all around good guy." At the end of a life, what more needs to be said.

Because he was a planner, Gene prepared as well as he could for this next leg, whatever it is. He'll meet his father, who preceded him on the journey. He plans to go to the end of the universe and see what's on the other side. He plans to meet Archimedes and ask all sorts of questions and finally, he hopes to discover where he lost an entire set of keys in 1984.

Left to miss him deeply are his wife of 50 years, Kay (Koehler) Nouska, his three daughters: Jennifer (Kirk) Danielson, Valerie, and Gail (Boyd) Nouska and his grandson Tylor. He's also survived by his mother (Joan), two sisters (Cheryl Kielpinski and Charlene Reierson) and his brother (Orv Nouska).

The family plans to have a remembrance gathering at Marshall School on Sunday, April 8, 2018 at 11:30 with a service at noon and lunch to follow.