Eugene “Gene” Robert Faszholz went to be with his Lord and Savior on Oct. 11, 2021.
Gene was born Sept. 25, 1929, in St. Louis, Missouri, to Richard W. Faszholz and Mamie K. (Krenning) Faszholz. They moved from St. Louis to Seattle, Washington, and then to Berkeley, California, where Gene lived most of his childhood. He graduated from Concordia High School in Oakland, California, and immediately began a career in professional baseball with the St. Louis Cardinal organization in Fresno, California, and was Rookie of the Year in the California League. He went on to play in Columbus, Georgia, Omaha, Peoria, Illinois, and finally in Tri-Cities, Washington. He was voted Most Popular Player in Fresno, in Columbus, Georgia, twice. He also made All-Star teams in Fresno, Columbus and Peoria.
Gene’s career was interrupted by the Korean War where he served in 1952 in Korea after graduating from Radar School in Ft. Bliss, Texas. He became the radar repairman for the 555th Field Artillery Battalion of the 5th Regimental Combat Team of the Fifth Army. He received an Accommodation Ribbon for his services.
Gene married his high school sweetheart, Marian Elaine Backus, in December 1950. They were blessed with three children, Jeanette, Gary and Karen. Marian was an RN and served in many hospitals in her career and the children all became teachers in Lutheran schools.
After his baseball career, Gene went back to school, graduating from Concordia College in Seward in 1958. He was called to teach and serve at St. Peter’s School in San Leandro, California. After serving there for eight years, he received a call to teach at Concordia High School in Seward. He taught there for six yeas before being called to Martin Luther High School in Greendale, Wisconsin. He taught American history, geography, government, economics, driver’s education and some religion courses. At each of these schools, Gene coached baseball, basketball and some football.
The Faszholz brothers were all exceptional athletes and included Dick, who played in the first Pan-American Games in Argentina in 1951 as a member of the winning United States basketball team. Jack embarked on a baseball career and made it to St. Louis Cardinals as a right-handed pitcher in 1953. Dave had a brief career in baseball as a member of the New York Yankee organization as a right-handed pitcher. Tom was signed by the St. Louis Hawks of the National Basketball Association and he was the last player cut as they opened their season. Jack is in the Rochester, New York, Hall of Fame (80 wins is a record) and also the Concordia, Austin, Texas, Hall of Fame. Tom is in Concordia, River Forest Hall of Fame while Dave and Gene are in Concordia, Seward Hall of Fame. Jack and Tom became pastors in the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. Dave and Gene became teachers, also in the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church organization.
Gene passed away Oct. 11, 2021, in Seward at the age of 92 years and 16 days. He is survived by his wife, Marian Faszholz, Seward; children, Jeanette (Larry) Niemann, Seward, Gary (Mary) Faszholz, Emlay City, Michigan, and Karen (Michael) Greve, Macomb, Michigan; nine grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; brother, Tom (Jean) Faszholz, Hillsboro, Oregon; sister, Kay (Red) Rasmussen, Buckeye, Arizona; and sister-in-law, Jean Faszholz. Gene was preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Mamie Faszholz; and brothers, Dick (Pat) Faszholz, John (Annette) Faszholz and Dave Faszholz.
The funeral service was Oct. 15 at St. John Lutheran Church in Seward followed by interment, with full military honors, at the Greenwood Cemetery. Memorial contributions, in lieu of flowers, are suggested to the Concordia University baseball team, St. John Lutheran School or the St. John DVD Ministry. Condolences may be left for the family online at www.volzkefuneralhome.com.