Eugene Burdette (Gene) Traynor, 80 years, of Vandalia passed away unexpectedly Thursday, 10:30 May 7, 2015 at Boone Hospital Center in Columbia, Mo.
Visitation was held on Sunday, May 10 from 4-7 p.m. at Waters Funeral Chapel in Vandalia. The funeral was held at the Curryville Baptist Church, May 11, at 10:30 a.m.
Officiating was the Rev. Jerry Gamm and the Rev. Jamie Franke. Music was provided by the Rev. Doug Storts, who will be playing the guitar and singing.
Interment took place in the Vandalia Cemetery with full military honors.
Pallbearers were grandsons Caleb Pease, Josh Pease, Nick Exendine, Brian Crowder, Matt Traynor, and Cody Ankrom. Honorary pallbearers were grandchildren Lucas Exendine, Danielle Crowder, Beth Traynor, and Andrea Ankrom.
Gene was born on August 19, 1934 in Louisiana, Mo. to loving parents Miller B. “Podge” and Edith Marie (Dunn) Traynor.
He married Erma Lee Cunningham in Vandalia on December 18, 1955. They resided in rural Vandalia, Mo. and rural Middletown, Mo. for the last 59 years.
Survivors include his wife Erma, of rural Vandalia; one son, Edward “Ed” E. Traynor, of rural Middletown; four daughters-Karen Sue and Lyndell Ankrom, of rural Middletown; Debra Ann and Darwyn Pease, of rural Curryville; Pamela Kay and Todd Exendine, of Sante Fe; Cynthia Lynn and Joe Crowder, of Rural Middletown; two brothers-Paul “Chip,” and Sidney Traynor, of Louisiana; Bill and Sandra Traynor, of Bowling Green; one sister Carol and Edsel Cunningham, of rural Middletown; 10 grandchildren; Andrea Ankrom and Cody Ankrom, both of rural Middletown; Josh Pease, of rural Curryville; Caleb and Sarah Pease, of Bowling Green; Beth Traynor, of rural Curryville; Matt Traynor, of rural Middletown; Nicholas Exendine and Lucas Exendine, both of Sante Fe; Brian Crowder, of Vandalia; and Daniel Crowder, of rural Middletown.
Preceded him in death were his parents; one grandson, Clint Rodney Ankrom; one niece, Joyce Cunningham Pease; and nephew, Ronnie Wayne Cunningham.
Gene attended various schools in Pike County including a one room school house, Gentle School Pike County in rural Curryville and Bowling Green High School.
He was a hard-working man and started at a young age helping his parents on the family farm, and before he could drive he was working for his Uncle Fred Dunn at his store in Curryville. There he managed the produce department. He also managed his Dad’s service station in Louisiana. Then he worked at International Shoe Factory in Vandalia. At 18 years old, he was hired on at Harbison-Walker Refractories where he retired from after forty-three years. During all his working years, he continued to farm.
Gene was a loving family man. He was devoted to his wife, family and friends. He enjoyed people and serving the community.
He was on the Board of Directors with Pike County Mutual Insurance from 1988-2013.
He was also on the Board of Directors for Tri-County Care Center from 2004-2011. He was a member of Tri-County Saddle Club from 1961 till the present. He was one of the founding members when the club was established and organized in 1961.
He was president the year the land was purchased in 2001. Besides serving as president, he also held other offices in the club.
He was also a member of the Tri-County Saddle Club cutting club where he enjoyed rounding up cattle with his horses. In younger years, he served his country as he was in the U.S. Naval Reserves and traveled to such places as Chicago, IL and as far-away as Florida and California in the years from 1952-1960.
Gene was a devout Christian man. He taught his family about God and the Christian way of life. He taught of the need of salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He was a member of Curryville Baptist Church, being baptized as a young man in Spencer Creek near Spencerburg. In previous years he was a member of Gazette Baptist Church until its closure.
Gene was a people person. He never knew a stranger. He enjoyed humor.
He was good at telling stories and jokes and could be found pulling a prank or two when he got the chance. He loved having his family and friends with him.
Whether it be visiting, making homemade ice cream, singing with the family, playing cards such as pitch and rook, or watching a Cardinals game.
He was a lover of animals. He so enjoyed his cattle, horses and goats he could be found out in the pasture petting his livestock, riding his Quarter horses, Foxtrotters or whatever horses he would happen to have and he enjoyed training horses and raising colts. He also loved his goats, especially, Lilly, who loved him back. The rest of the family was not as fortunate. Lilly had been known to rear up or butt at those she didn’t like. Gene enjoyed his farm so very much.
Gene’s advice to the young was to get a good education, keep your life clean of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. Also be honest, have Christ in your life, and be fully devoted to whatever you choose to do in life.
Memorials are encouraged to the Pike County Health Department Home Health & Hospice; Ronald McDonald Children’s House or memorial of your choice.