Gene R. Paitson, 90, of Terre Haute, passed away on Thursday, July 5, 2012, at Terre Haute Regional Hospital. He was born May 25, 1922, son of Robert and Mary Paitson. He graduated from Garfield High School – class of 1940. Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Jane (Hinton) Paitson; sister, Betty Lou (Paitson) Cotterman and her husband, Robert, of Sarasota, Fla.; son, Rick Paitson of Terre Haute; and daughter, Patti (Paitson) O’Day and her husband, Ron O’Day, of Terre Haute. He is also survived by six grandchildren, Robert Paitson, Richard Paitson, Sara Bolenbaugh, and Kelli (O’Day) Lloyd and her husband, Brenton, all of Terre Haute and Ryan O’Day and his wife, Becky, and Ben O’Day and his wife, Kelly, all of San Diego, Calif.; ten great-grandchildren, Sierra Mason, Jake Bolenbaugh and Julie Decker, Noah Paitson and Braeli Lloyd (Terre Haute), and Liam, Molly, Riley, Marley and Landry O’Day (San Diego); and several nieces and nephews.
Gene attended Indiana State University for two years, enlisted in the Navy and graduated from U.S. Navy Midshipmen’s School where he received his officer’s commission at Columbia University. He completed his education by receiving his Bachelor’s degree from Indiana State in 1944.
Gene was proud of his military service to his country that he loved so much and had a distinguished career. He received the American Campaign Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, with two Bronze Stars, World War II Victory Medal, Philippine Presidential Unit Citation, Navy Occupation Medal and the Philippine Liberation Medal with two Bronze Stars for his participation in the invasions of Leyte, Mindoro, Luzon and Palawan during WWII.
He was owner of Paitson Bros. Hardware, at one time rated the #1 hardware store in Indiana, where his goal was to provide customers excellent choice and great customer service. The family sold the business in 2006.
He was active in the community and served as director of the Chamber of Commerce, president of the Central Eastside Merchant Association, director of the Wabash Valley Association, and as President of the Indiana Retail Hardware Association. He was also active in the Exchange Club and a member of the Sycamore Country Club. He was a member of the Social Lodge No. 86 of the Free and Accepted Masons, Kerman Grotto, Scottish Rite, Zorah Shrine Temple, Terre Haute Elks Club, American Legion Post #40 and Veteran of Foreign Wars Post #972.
Funeral Services will be conducted at 10 a.m., Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at Callahan & Hughes Funeral Home, 605 South 25th Street, with Reverend Abe Miller officiating. Entombment will be in Roselawn Memorial Park with Military Honors provided by VFW Post #972. Visitation is scheduled for Tuesday from 4 to 8 p.m. with a Masonic Memorial Service to take place at 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, 2001 South Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131-3597.