TEMPLE – Gene Holman Schanz, 73, of Temple, passed away on Oct. 25, 2021, at his home, surrounded by family after a battle with cancer.
Gene was born on May 28, 1948, the third of seven children to the late Horace H. and Lucile (Tuscan) Schanz. He attended school in Farmington. He spent many happy hours growing up with his parents and siblings, grandparents, and the Latter and McAllister families in the towns of Solon, Caratunk, Enchanted and Greenville.
He served in the United States Navy from Aug. 1967 to July 1971 on two destroyers and an aircraft carrier, and saw many parts of the world including Vietnam, Australia, Greece, Midway, Germany, New Zealand, Hong Kong and many more. Gene held many jobs throughout his life, including jobs in his original hometown of Farmington and area towns ranging from newspaper delivery boy, working at Titcomb farms, short order cook at the Wayside Grill, a baker at the college, a Coca-Cola delivery man, working at Farmington Shoe and the Wilton Tanning Co., many construction and carpentry jobs, a millwright at Forster Manufacturing, a logger, to papermaker at the Rumford mill, just to name a few.
Gene was skilled and creative. He and his family cleared a piece of land and built a residence that he continued to add to for 40 years. Gene used his construction knowledge to build a home to raise a family, a garage to fabricate and repair what was needed, a barn and chicken coop to raise animals, and a wood shop where he completed many projects. Gene would create many sources of bonding and entertainment for his family as well. Creations such as, a press to make cider from the apples on the trees that he grew; an evaporator to boil sap from the maple trees around the house; a small bottling line that the children and adults could produce root beer with together. You’d be hard pressed to look around his home and not find something that he’d made. He educated and passed on to his children, nephews, and grandchildren, skills that they would otherwise be without.
Gene had many different hobbies and interests throughout his life. In his younger years he was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed riding motorcycles and dirt bikes, as well as fixing and building cars. He sawed lumber with his portable mill. He loved to go for rides in his Mustang. He enjoyed sitting on his porch in the early morning hours and drinking coffee while listening to the peacefulness. He had many dogs and cats over the years that he was fond of. One of his greatest passions was cooking and baking meals and goodies for his family to enjoy. If there were grandkids at his table, they did not have an empty belly. A lot of people who knew him were also aware that Labor Day was his favorite holiday.
Gene is survived by his wife of 40 years Jo-Ann; his daughter, Megan Cochran and husband Mark; his sons: Mike and wife Karen, Matt and wife Summer, Brandon and wife Megan; his sisters: Betsy Grayboyes, Cindy Hinds, Susan Brackett and husband Doug; his brothers: Lee and wife Cheryl, Timmy, Duane and wife Pamela; his sisters-in-law, Viki Hellgren and Terry Stetser; his brother-in-law Toby Hellgren, a good friend Ernie “Red” Watson and many other friends. Gene had seven grandchildren: Dana, Brandon, Lylah, Cooper, Skye, Lil, and Rowan; many nieces and nephews.
He is predeceased by his parents; his father and mother-in-law, Vilio and Bertha; his sister-in-law, Dodie; his brothers-in-law, Weikko and John; and a very good friend Gale Ellis.
Gene was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, and will be dearly missed. His family would like to thank the doctors and nurses of the V.A. Medical Centers in West Roxbury and Togus, the nurses and staff at Androscoggin Home Healthcare and Hospice, and the VA Fisher House Foundation.
At Gene’s request there will be no memorial service. Those wishing to make a memorial contribution, please consider The Department of Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service 1 VA Center (135), Augusta, ME 04330. Checks may be written to Voluntary Service, in memo write Fisher House.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Dan & Scott’s Cremation & Funeral Service, 488 Farmington Falls Rd., Farmington, ME 04938.