In Memory of

Firmin Eugene Huysentruyt

March 25, 1926 - October 6, 2017
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


Friday, October 27, 2017 at 12:00 AM
“My experiences with 'Gene'quickly embraced him as 'real stuff' in all contacts he had with patients, staff and with me personally as Chaplain. He could identify with the patients from his many personal experiences and always gave forth what he hope to receive by becoming an American citizen..and fortunately, he largely, so received. Blessings and an Eternal Rest is my hope and continuing prayer for you, Firmin Eugene - with assurance, same,to family members and friends.
(..we have a kinship in that I spent 4 wonderful years in his native Belgium while in Seminary there at Louvain University).

- Fr. Gene Sitzmann
Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 12:00 AM
“What a heartfelt obituary you wrote for Gene. Violet was a relative of mine and the last time we visited with her and Gene they had ordered dinners for us so we could share the dinner hour visiting with them at the assisted living facility. I'll never forget how caring Gene was to Violet, cutting up her roast beef and dabbing her mouth with his napkin. It was too bad the two of them didn't meet when they were young. Gene often spoke of the upcoming visits of his two nieces. You must have been very special to him. I was blessed to have known him.”
- Mary Jean Marten
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 12:00 AM
“You were my darling uncle.We were glad that you visited our family here at the last time you were in Belgium. Some months ago, I still talked to you on the phone. It was good to hear your voice again. Sleep well dear uncle.
- lucy huysentruyt & chris six
Monday, October 16, 2017 at 12:00 AM
“Innige deelneming bij het overlijden van onze nonkel Firmin, heel fijne herinneringen heb ik aan hem.Ik denk aan jullie en wens jullie veel sterkte.Lieve groeten, Sabine.”
- Huysentruyt Sabina
Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 12:00 AM
“Gene was a great guy and I loved his accent and I will never forget him at all Gene and Vi were the best couple ever . They always made u feel welcomed and was so friendly . Gene will be missed dearly but I know he is in a better place . R.I.P. GENE ”
- Amy Strahmann
Sunday, October 15, 2017 at 12:00 AM
“I remember Gene when he farmed north of Cherokee and later on as a coworker at CMHI. Always a gentleman and a joy to talk and laugh with.”
- Linda Stilley
Friday, October 13, 2017 at 12:00 AM
“In memory of our beloved uncle. We will always cherish the memory of our visit to Larrabee in 1997 and the warm welcome we have been given from this great man.
Stefaan & Bie Huysentruyt-Roelandt - Hulste, Belgium”
- Stefaan Huysentruyt
Monday, October 9, 2017 at 12:00 AM
“I always enjoyed talking to Gene (and riding horses) in his pasture when I was a kid and neighbor, a very sweet man.”
- corrine lundell
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