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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Eugene S. Magera

Issue Date: March 17, 2021

Eugene S. "Gene" Magera, 82, of Goodman, passed away Monday, March 8, 2021 at Maryhill Manor in Niagara. 

Born July 9, 1938, in Chicago, Ill., to the late Stanley and Stella (Sopkowicz) Magera, he grew up in Chicago and graduated from St. Rita High School in 1956 on a football scholarship, He loved a good competition and in his senior year, was listed as a 6'3" 195 lb. tailback, which was a good size for that time.

He attended Oconomowoc Seminary for four years, then served in the United States Air Force where he first learned about computers and was stationed in Texas, until an honorable discharge.

A long career in the computer industry, it began with early computing machines in the Air Force, became an expert at reel-to-reel and punchcard-driven mainframes, taught and trained others on those technologies and worked with many companies, including Honeywell, Digital Equipment and Platinum Technologies, retiring in 2006 after over 40 years in the industry. He wrote a book on "The Standards of Computer Operations" and saw computers go from filling entire rooms to something he could hold in his hands.

He loved the outdoors and was fond of time spent as a child visiting his family farm in Goodman. He spoke about those visits often and in 1978 brought his five children from Texas to visit the family farm where he taught them to fish for trout in a stream and showed them the operations of a working dairy farm. He also took his children camping, fishing and hiking. 

In fall of 1980, he guided all five children to the top of Mount Rogers in Virginia, burying his daughter Dallas' first lost tooth at the summit. His sons urged him to take up archery and learned to bow hunt with his boys in East Texas where he became a skilled archer and challenged his boys to competitions.

He supported his children's athletics and could be heard cheering on the sidelines of his son's soccer games and once flew his 11-year-old son from Houston to Dallas, Tx. to participate in their league's championship game. A passionate Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers fan, he told his children stories about Bart Starr and Roger Staubach and loved wearing his Cowboys sweater whenever he could.

He trained on the accordion from a young age and recorded at least one standard on a vinyl 45 record. He regularly entertained his young children at Christmas by playing Christmas carols for them on his accordion late into the night.

In 1985, he met the love of his life, Bonnie (Vicki) Thompson and they married at Reunion Tower in Dallas on Dec. 21, 1986, sharing 36 years together. Vicki Magera still resides in Goodman. 

He is survived by three sons, Joseph (Becky) Magera, James Magera, John (Karin) Magera and daughter, Dallas (Magera) (Jeff) Miller; nine grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren; two nieces and a nephew.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Camille (Magera) Rector; the mother of his children. Deanna Stocker; a daughter, Mary DeAnn (Magera) Manrriquez and a grandson, George Harward.

Services will be announced at a later date. Burial will be in Glenwood Cemetery in Goodman. Jacobs Lundholm Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Florence is assisting the family. Condolences or tributes can be made online at www.JacobsFuneralHomes.com


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