Eugene M. Banning

Eugene M. Banning, 87, Whitley County, died at 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, 2017 at his home.

He was born March 22, 1929 in Fort Wayne, a son of Vern L. and Fern M. (Orcutt) Banning. His formative years were spent in Etna Troy Township. He graduated from Larwill High School.

He served in the United States Marine Corps from May 20, 1947 until Oct. 5, 1951, serving in Hawaii for a year.

On Feb. 28, 1953 he was united in marriage to Afton J. Liverett. They made their first home in Fort Wayne, returning to Etna Troy Township and then to their present home in April 1959.

A tool and die maker by trade, Gene worked for Dana Corp. in Fort Wayne and retired from Dana Weatherhead in 1995 with 45 years of service. He also enjoyed farming as a hobby.

In 1984 he co-founded and became a member of Cornerstone Fellowship Church now New Beginnings Church at Big Lake.

Surviving relatives include his wife of nearly 64 years, Afton; four children: Sandee (Rich) Wheeler of Milltown; Jan (John) Dilley of Fort Wayne; Barbara Banning of Columbia City; and Daniel L. (Lesa) Banning of Columbia City; eight grandchildren; 16 great grandchildren; and two sisters, Genevieve Weiss of Steelville, Mo.; and Virginia Duran of Strathmore, Calif.

He was preceded in death by two grandsons and a sister, Betty Smith.

The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19 at New Beginnings Church at Big Lake, 6331 North State Road 109, Columbia City with visitation from 1 to 2 p.m. Thursday at the church. The burial will be held at a later date at Adams Cemetery. Visitation will also be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 18 at Smith & Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City.

Preferred memorials are to New Beginnings Church at Big Lake.

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