Eugene A. “Gene” Wellbrock, 81, Victoria, died Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at HaysMed.
He was born June 27, 1937 in Hays the fourth of six children to George and Wilhelmina (Roth) Wellbrock. He was a 1956 graduate of Victoria High School and following graduation he attended Fort Hays Kansas State College for one year before returning home to help his father at his Phillips 66 service station doing mechanic work, a business he would later purchase. On November 4, 1961 he was united in marriage to Joan C. Schmidt in Hays, a union which would span nearly 57 years. Gene enjoyed being involved and volunteered for many different activities and organizations and he served on the Victoria City Council and was also Mayor. He was a local volunteer fireman and fire chief and later served as the Ellis County Rural Fire and Emergency Preparedness Director. Prior to his retirement, he was an insurance agent. He was a member of The Basilica of St. Fidelis and served on the parish council and with other great volunteers, helped organize many fundraisers for the church. He was a member of the St. Fidelis 3rd and 4th degree Knights of Columbus, was a Faithful Navigator and District Deputy, and chaired two state K of C conventions held in Hays with some activities in Victoria. He was also a member of Tiger Club and enjoyed attending FHSU football and basketball games.
Gene enjoyed doing PA for Victoria High School football games and announcing for the Victoria Eagles baseball games for many years. He was an original member of the VHS Alumni board, received the VHS Alumni Association Hall of Fame award in 2016, and he helped organize and coach little league baseball, volunteered with the Cub Scouts, worked as a crossing guard at the grade school prior to religion classes, and helped present medals to the Special Olympics participants at their events at Fort Hays State University. Even though Gene always seemed busy, he always had time for family and fun. He enjoyed barbequing, cooking breakfast, woodworking, watching and listening to sports, spending time with his grandchildren, and he was an avid golfer. Eleven years ago, Gene suffered a massive stroke affecting his mobility and speech. Despite this, he maintained a positive attitude and was always happy and smiling.
Survivors include his wife Joan, of the home in Victoria, a son Gerard Wellbrock and wife Tammy of Hays, two daughters; Ann Hugunin and husband Hyle and Christine Weber and husband Mike, all of Hays, four sisters; Arlene Pfeifer and husband Albert R. and Gladys Pfeifer and husband Dale, all of Victoria, Mary Lou Mirkovich of Bainbridge Island, WA, and Rosann Welser and husband Hal of Moline, IL, a sister-in-law Marlene Wellbrock of Bainbridge Island, WA, and seven grandchildren; Garrett Wellbrock, Abby Hugunin, Janet Hugunin, Allison Weber, Patrick Weber, Grant Weber, and Samuel Weber.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his step-mother Mary (Mermis) Roth Wellbrock, a brother Varian Wellbrock, a brother-in-law Art Mirkovich, a step-brother Delbert Roth, two step-sisters; Twila Brungardt and Elgerine Wayne, and a grandson Peyton Weber.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 am on Monday, October 8, 2018 at The Basilica of St. Fidelis, 900 Cathedral Ave, Victoria, Kansas, with Fr. John Schmeidler officiating. Burial will follow in the St. Fidelis Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4:00 pm until 8:00 on Sunday and from 9:00 am until service time on Monday, all at The Basilica of St. Fidelis. The St. Fidelis Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus will stand honor guard from 6:00 pm until 7:00, a parish vigil service will be at 7:00, followed by a combined Daughters of Isabella and Knights of Columbus rosary, all on Sunday at the church. Memorials are suggested to The Basilica of St. Fidelis Endowment Fund or for masses, in care of Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, 1906 Pine Street, Hays, Kansas. Condolences and memories of Gene may be shared with his family at www.haysmemorial.com