Gene Stuart Troyer, 77, passed away at home on Thursday, May 5, 2022. The cause of death was a brain tumor, which he had been in treatment for over a period of 15 months.
A visitation will be held on Sunday, May 22, 2022, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at East Union Mennonite Church in Kalona, IA, followed by a time of remembrance, then by a graveside service and burial at Lower Deer Creek Cemetery. Memorial donations may be designated to Mennonite Central Committee. Beatty-Peterseim Funeral, Cremation Care and Monument Service is assisting the family with arrangements. The time of remembrance will be live-streamed and available for viewing at the Beatty-Peterseim Facebook page.
Gene Stuart Troyer was born on June 28, 1944, in Johnson County, Iowa, to Raymon and Ethel (Yoder) Troyer. Gene grew up in the Kalona area, attending rural Brush No. 8 School and graduating from Iowa Mennonite School in 1962. He then attended Hesston College and Iowa State University, graduating with a degree in Poultry Science.
Following college graduation, Gene served with the PAX program of the Mennonite Central Committee in the Dominican Republic and in Brazil, assisting with community development projects. On December 30, 1972, he married fellow Mennonite service worker Louise Couvillion in her hometown of Chicago, IL. Together, they served 4 more years in the Dominican Republic with the Evangelical Mennonite Church as community development workers. In 1976 they returned to Kalona to fulfill Gene’s dream of farming with his family. Gene and Louise raised their children in the Kalona area until 1995. The family has many good memories of those years. In 1995, they moved to Minnesota to pursue a career opportunity for Gene in the field of poultry production.
Gene served as president of the Iowa Poultry Association and of the Iowa Turkey Federation. He was honored as Industryman of the Year by the Iowa Poultry Association in 1995.
Gene enjoyed visiting with family and friends both old and new, gardening, attending sprint car races, participating in community theater and choral groups, writing poetry, and finding opportunities to speak Spanish or Portuguese. He held many different leadership positions in the church congregations where he and Louise attended.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Raymon and Ethel Troyer, and by his brother-in-law Phillip J. Keim. He is survived by his wife, Louise; by his children: Heidi (and Adam) Baldwin, Heather (and Bruce) Diercks, Julian (and Nida) Troyer, and Alena Troyer; by 14 grandchildren; by 4 siblings: Janet Keim, David (and Donna) Troyer, Gilbert (and Sue) Troyer, and Dale Troyer; and by many nieces and nephews.