WELLSVILLE - Gene R. Fanton, 82, of 3355 Madison Hill, passed away Wednesday (Aug. 3, 2016) at home following a long illness.
He was born March 14, 1934, in Wellsville, the son of the late Raymond and Marian Wells Fanton. On May 16, 1954, in Wellsville, he married Mary Lou Horn, who predeceased him Oct. 30, 2013.
Gene was a 1952 graduate of Wellsville High School.
He was a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy during the Korean and Vietnam wars. He served aboard the USS Jeffers, USS George Clymer, USS Dale and USS Dixie. Gene and Mary Lou formerly owned and operated The Belvedere Restaurant. He later worked for a brief time at Turbodyne Corp. in Wellsville and then became a letter carrier for the U.S. Postal Service in Wellsville for 13 years, retiring in 1990.
He was a member of the Morrison Hayes Post 702 American Legion, Frank B. Church Post 2530 Veterans of Foreign Wars, Wellsville Moose Lodge No. 601, Wellsville Elks Lodge No. 1495 and the former Christian Temple in Wellsville.
He enjoyed hunting and fishing with his family; he was an avid the Buffalo Bills fan; and he loved his animals, especially Tippy, his dog, and Missy, his cat. The extended family was very happy that Gene and Mary Lou purchased the Horn homestead for their residence.
Gene was a loving father to three sons, Gene Fanton Jr., Carl (Kim) Fanton of Wellsville and Jim (Ann White) Fanton of Belmont; 15 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Beverly "Bunny" Rahr of California and Dorothea "Dottie" Heers of Wellsville; a sister-in-law, Shirley (John) Giopulos of Wellsville; several nieces and nephews; and his caregiver, Margaret Hirt.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a son, Bill Fanton; a grandson, Carl Fanton Jr.; a great-grandson, Michael Fanton; and a sister-in-law, Cate Horn Tomah.
Friends are invited to visit the family from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at the J.W. Embser Sons Funeral Home Inc. in Wellsville. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday (Aug. 9, 2016) at the Christian Temple-First Congregational Church, located at the corner of Maple Avenue and Fassett Street in Wellsville, with the Rev. David Potts presiding. Burial, with military honors, will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery.
Memorial donations can be made to the SPCA Serving Allegany County. To leave online condolences, visit www.embserfuneralhome.com.