A celebration of life was held for Grand Forks’ Gene Horz Satruday, Oct. 17.
Friends and family — and perhaps a few people who’d never met the man — came to the open house at the Boundary Women’s Resource Centre on Market Ave, drawn by the sound of “Amazing Grace” piped into the crisp fall air.
Gene died on Sept. 15 after a short battle with kidney cancer. He was able to say his goodbyes to family and friends who’d come to see him off at the hospice at Grand Forks Hospital.
He was truly “a keeper,” said Gene’s wife Trish, swaying gently to the bagpipes. “I’ve lost my soul-mate,” she told The Gazette.
There was a hint of sadness in her smile, but she was sure she’d meet her husband on the other side. Gene was a devout Christian and a avid guitarist, she added, chuckling that he’d promised to jam with friends after they’d crossed over.
Friend Brian Coleman said Gene was “a conversationalist” who would “talk to everybody.” Brian and his wife had come all the way from Alberta, where Gene was born in the town of Edson.
Asked what was missing now that his friend was gone, Brian said, “Gene.”
“Just a friend,” he said, his voice breaking as he looked at a framed picture of Gene inside the women’s centre. The room was filled with little mementos of Gene; the yearbooks and photo albums; newspaper articles and posters that spoke to his loss more than Brian had words for.
Gene was 72 when he passed.