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Gene

Gene Fast

Paul Eugene “Gene” Fast, age 91, passed away suddenly in his home, Tuesday morning, January 28, 2014, while getting dressed to go to his daily morning breakfast at Denny’s.  He was born in Liberal, Missouri, April 8, 1922 to Paul Cruiser and Jane Alta (Gilmartin) Fast. Paul was drafted into the United States Army at the age of 21 in 1943.  His basic training was as a cook and baker at Ft. Knox, KY.  He then transferred to the 748th Tank Battalion that trained in Brous, AZ.  This was a secret division and the soldiers were not allowed to inform their families where they were located during training or while they were overseas.  He fought in France in 1944, and during 1945 and 1946 he was in Germany, Netherlands, and Austria.  Paul received four Bronze Stars while serving his country.  He was discharged in January, 1946.  During basic training in Ft. Knox, he met Stella Mae Hammond at an ice cream parlor while on a weekend leave.  They were married April 7, 1946, at a Methodist parsonage in New Albany, Indiana and had shared 58 years together before her death November 11, 2004. Gene brought his bride back to Missouri and lived on a ranch south of Bronaugh, MO, and started farming and has farmed ever since then.  He and Stella moved to Lamar in 1994, but continued their farming operation. He was a member of the First Christian Church in Lamar, Lamar VFW and American Legion in Liberal.  He had a love for animals and two days prior to his death he had acquired three new miniature donkeys and was looking forward to playing with them this spring.  He loved his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and attended as many of their sporting events that he could. Survivors include a daughter and son-in-law, Sheila and Ron McReynolds of Joplin, Missouri; a son, Taylor Fast of Wichita, Kansas; two granddaughters and their husbands, Tamela & Larry Dighero of Carthage, Missouri and Allison & David Dugan of Lamar; a step-grandson, Ron McReynolds of Mission, Kansas.  Great-grandchildren include Kassidee Kaiser, Warrensburg, MO, Rachel and Matthew Dugan, Lamar, and Eric McReynolds, Kansas City, MO.  Also surviving is one brother, Thayne Fast, Lebanon, MO; one sister, Phyllis (Fast) Carpenter, Richmond, Kansas; and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his wife, Stella, Gene was preceded in death by his parents, Jane and Paul Fast, one brother Orin Taylor, and three sisters, Martha Nell Elbrader, Joan Brenner and Ruby Riley. His family would like to thank Gene’s neighbors both in town and at the farm for checking on him and to the waitresses at Denny’s. Services will be 2:00pm Saturday, February 1st at Daniel Funeral Home in Lamar.  Visitation will be a 1:00 p.m. prior to the funeral.  Burial with full military honors will follow at Barton City Cemetery near Liberal, Missouri. Memorial contributions are suggested to Barton City Cemetery in care of Daniel Funeral Home.
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