Gene was born to Pearl Dull on Sept. 25, 1937. Pearl later met and married the only father Gene knew, Fred Gragert. At age 3, Gene had a bout with polio from which he recovered.
In his early 20s, Gene moved to the Pitchfork Ranch in Meeteetse. There he met and married Mary Pederson. Together they welcomed their only daughter, Honey Lee VanDyke. They were later divorced and Mary died in 1974 from heart complications.
Gene later met the love of his life, Betty Boyles, and they were married on Sept. 12, 1972. He graciously embraced Betty’s five children and together they blended their families as one.
Gene was employed by Pool Well Service when he and Betty moved to Powell in 1973. He then transferred to K&T Well Service in Powell and was employed by them from 1973–1986 when K&T was bought out by Dunbar Well Service. He stayed with Dunbar until his retirement in 2000.
Gene and Betty spent 40 wonderful years together before her death on Oct. 28, 2012. They enjoyed camping, four-wheeling, sitting on the front porch, family reunions, and spending time with their grandchildren.
A father, grandfather, brother and uncle, Gene always had a twinkle in his eye, especially when he was up to his usual jokes. He loved nothing more than to get a rise out of those around him.
Gene will be greatly missed by so many.
Gene is survived by his daughters Honey Lee (Shon) Mangus, Deanna (Michael) MacKenzie, Deb Smith (Celia Solis), and Janell (Marvin) Mauch; sons Bud (Karen) Boyles and Ed Boyles (BJ Fackrell); sisters Charlotte (Bob) Cruise and Nora (Bert) Sullivan and brother Larry Gragert. He also is survived by 15 grandchildren: Jeanette Lackman, Sherry Leonhardt, Steven MacKenzie, Michael MacKenzie, Bobby Mielke, Crystal Reese, Cyndy Jones, Heather Craig, Mikey Jones, Tara Converse, Billy Mauch, Jamie Smith, Scott Smith, Martin Munoz and Adam Munoz; 30 great-grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.
Gene was preceded in death by his wife Betty VanDyke, brothers Gary Gragert, Jim Gragert, and Donny Gragert and grandson Tracy Jones.
Funeral services will be held Friday, Nov. 15, at 2 p.m. at Thompson Funeral Home in Powell. Viewing will be one hour prior to services.
A celebration of Gene’s life will be held at 3 p.m. at the American Legion.
Arrangements are being handled by Thompson Funeral Home and Crematory.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.thompsonfuneral.net or to P.O. Box 807 Powell, WY 82435.