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Lewis Eugene Lance, Sr.


We salute and pay a special tribute to Gene Lance whose sunrise was on June 1st, 1935 in Christiana, TN and whose sunset was February 23rd, 2019 in Bay Pines, FL.

Gene was a retired Air Force Veteran, he was actively involved in the International Order of Oddfellows for more than 40 years. He held numerous positions as an officer including Noble Grand, District Deputy, and Grandmaster of the State of Florida.
He was also an active member of the Rebekahs as well as the Masonic Lodge.

Gene’s passion and zest for life were contagious.  He enjoyed spending his summers in Houghton Lake, MI where he would cruise the lake in his green drag boat. He loved hearing the engine rev when he mashed down on the pedal. Above all else, Gene really enjoyed seeing others have fun.  All were welcome to visit and join in the fun and festivities. Once you met Gene you had a friend for life. Prior to Houghton Lake Gene caught the outdoors bug and would take the family on camping trips. On one such trip to Florida Gene, who liked to “make good time” stopped for gas in Knoxville, TN and then left back down the highway before his family had returned to the camper. Fortunately he returned to pick them up but he took a lot of grief for that. The adventures and fun were numerous.

Family is what he adored most and would make time to help anyone that needed it. He cared for his numerous nieces and nephews as if they were his own.

Gene performed many jobs before settling into the steel industry in Detroit, MI.  He worked in construction, on the highways, and hung aluminum siding. He drove truck delivering steel to customers and worked on the equipment at the facility.  Gene was also the owner & operator of a couple of semi trucks. He loved the big rigs.

Gene’s mechanical aptitude grew his interests into restoring classic cars. He would cruise anywhere he could in his 1957 Ford Fairlane Convertible. The only thing he enjoyed more than driving it was giving people rides in it and cruising around Houghton Lake, MI to Pass-A-Grille, FL or to The Chattaway nostalgic burger restaurant in St Petersburg, FL.

His parents Carlos Lance and Zora (nee McKnight) predeceased him.  Survivors include his former spouse of 59 years Norma Lee Nelson; children Lee Ronna Lance, Lewis E. Lance Jr. (Vickie), and Donna Lance Sharp (Mike); siblings Sarah Treva Norris and Bennie Carlos Lance; sisters Lavena “Gay” Hassen (Dave) and Velta “Fay” James; sister-in-law Mary Virginia Lance (Bennie); grandchildren Jason & Janine Wyres, Jessica Lance, Ryan Lance, Kyle Lance, Mike Sharp, Chris Sharp and Brian Sharp; and great-grandchildren Jolie, Johnny, Revin, Brody, Jaylen, Kensi, and Lyric.   All of his immediate and extended family will forever miss him.
Services to honor Gene and his military service have been scheduled for Friday March 8th, 2019 beginning at 11:00am.   Gulf Coast Church,  13301 Walsingham Rd, Largo, FL 33774  will host his memorial services and Veterans Funeral Care is entrusted with his care.  Family and friends are encouraged to arrive around 10:30.

 

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  • Debbie and Rance says:

    He will always be remembered for the man he was. The father, the grandfather, the Uncle! I will miss your laugh Uncle Gene!

  • carol says:

    deepest sympathy to Donna and family

  • Vickie says:

    Gene was more than a father in law to me. He was my friend first. He was in my family long before Lewis and I got together. Gene was always the nicest person to everyone around him. He was always there for me whenever I needed someone. He cared about everyone around him and brought laughter to many. I will miss him with all my heart. Love you always.

    Vic-Vic.

  • Ed and Martha Printiss says:

    We will miss you deeply and you will be always in our prayers and thoughts.Lewis, Donna, Lee. We are with you and love you.

  • Dawn Ashmall says:

    Our deepest sympathy. He will be greatly missed. Prayers and hugs go out to the whole family.

    Love to you all.
    Dawn, Rob, Anthony, and Connor.

  • Lewis E. Lance, Jr. says:

    Dad,
    I will miss you more than you can imagine. I so enjoyed talking with you and being your son. It gives me great pleasure and honor to be the son of such a hard working man who built his life with a vision in mind. Your strength and character are unparalleled. Many people do not and will not ever understand what you tried to do for them. I would say dad, I want this or I want that and you would reply it doesn’t hurt you to want son. I immediately knew what you meant and that I would need to earn my way. I am forever grateful for you imparting that knowledge and wisdom to me.

    I loved joking and teasing with you as you were the one who taught me how to do it at an early age playing pool in our basement. You taught me how to play catch and I have fond memories of us throwing a baseball back and forth. That and playing horseshoes in the backyard, camping, boating and water skiing. Remember water skiing together, and I would cross back and forth in front of you, we were such dare-devils.

    In high school we built my 57 Chevy together, I keep that car in remembrance of our project together. I so enjoyed being able to drive that roaring monster to school everyday. I owe my mechanical aptitude and willingness to try new things to you and your want to explore everything. You always enjoyed being able to take something apart and figure out how to fix it or make it better. I owe you everything dad, your pushing me to do better, to challenge myself and not accept less. I have lead a very good life and have a wonderful wife and family because of the many gifts that you gave me.

    Love you always dad,
    Lewis

  • Deborah Burton & Heather Beckman says:

    Honestly Houghton Lake will be a much darker place without you! We always enjoyed walking down and enjoying our chats, the 100’s of boat rides , picnics, 4th of July fireworks and so much more. You were more than friends to us you became family. You will be so dearly missed ! Rest in peace !

  • marc nelson says:

    Lee,Lou and Donna, Uncle Gene was a great man. I couldn`t thank him enough for fixing my 66 VW. I didn`t have a lot of money to fix it, he saved the day. God bless and peace Marc