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Walter Eugene “Gene” Hoots, a beloved husband, father, and grandfather, a friend to many, a community volunteer, and an accomplished electrical contractor passed away suddenly on Monday, February 26th. Gene was born in Cumberland County, Kentucky to Homer and Myrtle (Wolfe) Hoots. At age 17, he entered World War II in the Army (his brother, Ralph, was serving in the Marines). Gene was active in the Veterans Day Service at the Columbia First Church of the Nazarene and in 2016, he was named to the Veterans Hall of Fame in Kentucky for his military service and community involvement.
As an original member and former President, Gene was one of the leaders of the Columbia-Adair County Fire Department. In addition to his community service with the fire department, he and others initiated the Adair County Rescue Squad, which was known for its unfailing commitment to aide those in need. He also enjoyed giving his time to the Columbia Cares Crusade, Inc., which assisted people in our area in emergency situations. Beyond generously volunteering his time, he was known for putting a smile on the faces of children and adults through activities such as community Easter egg hunts at his home and picking up hitchhikers. He loved being involved and helping a good cause.
Originally starting with his father, Homer, Gene was an electrical contractor in this region for 50 years. He was known for his reputable business. The “Hoots Electric” truck was well-known throughout the community. Since he retired he became passionate about gardening. During the summer, many people dropped by just to get one of his tomatoes. On Monday, following a daily ride with this grandpup, Jakky, he passed away as he was planting seeds for the garden he hoped to have this year. In addition to his garden, Gene was known for his quick wit and opinions on politics, community events, and any other topic you were willing to discuss.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, and his three siblings, Ralph Hoots, Reverend Bob Hoots, and Shirley (Hoots) Frank. Gene and his wife, Joyce (Loy), who survives, would have been married 65 years in October, a major milestone in today’s world. He is survived by three children: Pamela Hoots of Columbia, Dr. Cathy (Paul) Abell of Bowling Green, and Douglas (Tami) Hoots of Lexington. He is also survived by three grandchildren: Dr. Caitlyn (Alex) Bruns of Ames, Iowa, Ryan (Heather) Hoots of Lexington, and Anna Hoots of Lexington. He loved his family and was happiest when they were all together.
Pallbearers are Alex Bruns, Anthony Hadley, Mark Harris, Ryan Hoots, Jerry Melton, Bryan Rich, Chuck Rogers, and John Tupman.
Honorary: Mark Hoots, Paul Frank, Patrick Loy, Tim Loy, Jeff Loy, Darren Loy, Matthew Loy, Victor Loy, Barry Loy, Derrell Wilson, David Wilson, Barney Jones, Greg Jones, Dr. Eric Loy, and John Loy
Visitation will be after 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 1st and the funeral will be Friday, March 2nd at 11 a.m. at Grissom-Martin Funeral Home with Bro. Craig Huddleston and Bro. David Kemp officiating. Interment in Haven Hill Cemetery with Full military rites presented by V.F.W. Post 6097.
Expressions of sympathy may take the form of a donation to the Gene Hoots Memorial Scholarship Fund. The scholarship will be utilized for an Adair County student, pursuing secondary education in a vocational field.