Firmin Eugene Huysentruyt, the son of Guillame and Marie (Bruggeman) Huysentruyt was born March 25, 1926, in Deerlijk, Belgium. His childhood years were spent in Belgium where he received his education. Firmin (Gene) spent six months in the Midwest on an agricultural study tour in 1952. He spent three months in Omaha at a community college followed by three months in Missouri. Once he returned to his hometown he set the paperwork in motion to emigrate to the United States. A case of "how are you going to keep them down in small Belgium once they have seen the rich fields of the Midwest." Gene arrived in New York on May 10, 1954, where he fell in love with the country and all the opportunities it presented to him. On October 23, 1961 Firmin proudly became a United States citizen.
He farmed in Nebraska, finally settling in Iowa, where he raised cattle, corn, and beans.
He always valued hard work, at a time while still maintaining a small farm, he worked the night shift at the Cherokee Mental Health and had a postal run by day.
He cherished his friends he made over the years. Vi Aldred, was his soul mate. She guided him to open up to the world around him. There was music and dancing to his life now. His two nieces in Canada are the last remaining link to family background stories in Belgium. More than anything he was a proud American who appreciated the freedom and opportunity it had given him over the years.
On October 6, 2017, Gene passed away at Cherokee Specialty Care in Cherokee at the age of 91. He was preceded in death by his siblings, Sister Marie Louise Huysentruyt, Nestor and Maria Huysentruyt and their daughter, Vera Cottenie, Jerome Huysentruyt and his spouse, Marie-Louise Taelman, Paula Huysentruyt, and Pierre Huysentruyt; and sister-in-law, Simone Vanwynsberghe.
He will lovingly be remembered by one brother, Silvere Huysentruyt, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren in Belgium; as well as his two nieces, Beatrice Goussaert of Winnipeg Manitoba, Canada, and Rose Huystntruyt of Ontario, Canada, and their children and grandchildren in Canada.
The family would like to offer a special thank-you to the Gardens Assisted Living, Cherokee Specialty Care, and CRMC Hospice for his special care, and also Shirley Staver and the late Paul Staver for being longtime friends.
A funeral service will be held at 9:00 a.m., Saturday, October 21, 2017, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Cherokee.
There will be no visitation.
Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Cherokee