Eugene Songer, 88 year old Buffalo resident passed away suddenly at the Veteran’s Home of Wyoming on Saturday. Graveside services will be held in the Sheridan Municipal Cemetery, with Military Honors in May of 2017, with the time to be announced.
Eugene Laverne Songer was born on May 1, 1928. Gene was the youngest of 6 kids born to Floyd and Edith Songer. Shortly after Gene was born his parents divorced which created a scattered family and he went to live with Everett and Laura Higgins in Buffalo, Wyoming. Later he joined his maternal grandparents David and Laura Fordyce at their homestead near Devil’s Tower, Wyoming. He moved with his grandparents back to Buffalo in 1934 and after their passing in 1935 he reconnected with his mother Edith and moved to Sheridan along with his older sister Beverly. Gene went school in Sheridan and his mother married John Pettibone in 1941 and moved to Casper. Gene and his sister finished out the school in Sheridan and later joined their parents in Casper. Gene worked for 2 years in Casper pumping gas, delivering ice and at other odd jobs before moving back to Sheridan where he graduated from Sheridan High School with the class of 1949.
After graduating he worked at the Bank of Commerce before joining the army. He was with the 4th Infantry Division and stationed in east central Germany. With extra schooling and training he was promoted to Staff Sergeant and was to travel to many countries and see the world. After the service he returned to Sheridan, where he joined the National Guard. Gene spent 36 years with the National Guard for a total of 38 years of military service.
In June of 1955 Gene married Carole Ann Fraser and they had one son, Michael Eugene who was born in December of 1956. They were divorced in 1966. In 1964 Gene and his brother Floyd purchased Paul Dawdys’ Service Station in Sheridan and it became the infamous Songers’ Conoco on the corner of Main and Coffeen. Gene gave many high school boys their first job. People still talk about how they enjoyed working at Songers’ Conoco, doing business there and catching up on the local news. In 1971 Gene married Shirley Skaar who had 2 daughters, Kari (10) and Jayleen (7). Gene adopted Shirley’s daughters and welcomed them as his own. Gene and Floyd sold the station in 1978. After selling the station he worked at Decker Coal until retiring in 1991 at the age of 62. One of his favorite pastimes was bowling and he was in numerous leagues and enjoyed going to Nationals with his brother Floyd and his sons Dan, Dennis and Don. He was an avid snowmobiler and enjoyed weekend adventures with the family.
Dad loved golfing with friends, his son and especially with his grandsons. Gene’s love of driving lead him to a job of driving bus for the Sheridan School District after retirement. His biggest joy was taking students on their sporting activities and cheering them on. He followed some of these students well into their college sports careers. Dad spent nearly a year at the VA Home in Buffalo. He enjoyed the staff, the food, the activities and especially the beautiful mountains and trees surrounding the home.
Dad’s soft spoken words of wisdom, his witt and sense of humor will be missed.
He is survived by one son Mike Songer (Karen) of Billings, Montana; two daughters, Kari Clark (Chris) of Fort Collins, Colorado; Jayleen Florian (Terry) of Gill, Colorado and five grandchildren; Angela Belmont, Ashli Belmont, Colter Grundemann, Ian Songer, Kyle Florian and five great-grandchildren; Mercedes, Jayden, Anthony, Neveah and Nariah. Gene was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, two brothers and two sisters.
Donations in Mr. Songer’s memory may be made to the Veteran’s Home of Wyoming or the Sheridan County Library in Sheridan in care of the Harness Funeral Home at 351 N. Adams in Buffalo. Online condolences may be made at www.harnessfuneralhome.com