Eugene “Gene” Oral Colliflower, 66, son of Harvey and Doraine (Lauerman) Colliflower, was born on July 7, 1944 in East St. Louis, Illinois. He departed this life on November 7, 2010 at Texas County Memorial Hospital in Houston, Missouri, after a long illness.
Gene grew up in the St. Louis area and graduated from Belleville (Illinois) High School in 1962. He was a flight test engineer for McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis and also worked for several other firms on contract engineering projects. He served in the United States Army in the early 1960s.
Gene “retired” to the Ozarks several years ago yet remained involved with many activities. He was one of the founding directors of community radio KZGM in Cabool, Missouri, with the “G” in the call letters representing his name. Without his reassurance, advice, and tireless work, KZGM would not have made it on the air. He hosted a jazz program on the station, but was most famous for his humorous “traffic reports” that ranged from “A yellow truck just went by” to “Traffic was so heavy the only way to get into the other lane was to buy the car next to you.”
He came to the radio station every single day even when his illness, Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), progressed to the point that he had to give up other activities. He would sit in the office, waiting for a favorite song or to visit with other volunteers at the station. Although he suffered from PSP, kidney disease and other medical problems, he was always willing to be a part of everything going on around him and in the community.
Gene was a member of Cabool Church of the Brethren. He was on the board of directors of Cabool Revitalization Group, Inc. and enjoyed helping with community events.
His hobbies included travel, camping, photography and reading.
Gene was preceded in death by his father, Harvey Colliflower.
He is survived by his friend and caregiver, Myron Jackson, Cabool; his mother, Doraine, and a brother, Fred and wife Maggie, all of Belleville, Illinois; and, Bart, his Anatolian Shepherd dog and constant companion.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, November 10, 2010, from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. at Elliott-Gentry-Carder Funeral Home. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, November 14, 2010, at 2:00 p.m. in Cabool Church of the Brethren with Rev. Roger Schrock officiating. The body will be cremated under the direction of Elliott-Gentry- Carder Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given in Gene’s name in care of the funeral home to help with final expenses.
Online condolences may be made at www.egcfuneralhome.com.