Sunday, July 24, 2011

Unforgettable Uncle Gene

Collected MemoirsRest in Peace, Uncle Gene
20 October 1926 - 21 July 2011

Here's the obit that Gene, always "Bill" to his friends, wrote himself:

Carriker, Bill, 84, entered into a new plane of existence on July 21, 2011 in Davis, CA after a long, productive, and enjoyable life. A memorial service will be held at 2 pm, Saturday, August 6, 2011 at Lakeview Funeral Home.

Bill moved to Wichita with his family in 1960 and spent 27 years as an elementary school principal in the Wichita System. With a capable staff, he was responsible for implementing the 1st Magnet School in Wichita at the Isely Creative Center as well as Amelia Earhart Environmental Complex where he spent 16 years. As principal he bonded closely with his students and was affectionately known as “Mr. C” to many hundreds of boys and girls.

Bird City, Kansas at mid-century is where it all began. After 2 years of classroom teaching, it was on to Robinson, Kansas where he taught and was the principal of the small town elementary school. After eight years, in 1960, Bill was hired as full time principal at North Riverside CSD 170, in Wichita, Kansas which was renamed Amelia Earhart Elementary upon annexation by the city.

Retirement came in June of 1987 from Earhart school. Following this, many years and thousands of miles of RVing were enjoyed and adventures experienced by Bill & Elaine traveling the U.S., and Alaska. For nine years in his later life, Bill wrote a weekly column for his birth town newspaper, the Drumright, Oklahoma Gusher. In 2004, with the help of Elaine, he published a large number of his selected columns into a book entitled, Tiger Creek Tales.

Bill is survived by Elaine, his beloved wife of 63 years, a brother Don (Anne) Carriker of Chadwick, MO, son Brent (Saundra) Carriker of Henderson, NV, daughter Chris (John) Denton of Davis, CA and daughter Kimberly (Gregg) Ree of Wichita along with 8 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.

Bill’s inurnment will be in the Veteran’s section of Lakeview Gardens. In lieu of flowers a contribution may be made to the American Porphyria Foundation. Continued research is being done to find relief for this affliction; one Bill lived with all his life.


Uncle Gene has also appeared here as a guest blogger
on the Third Sunday of Advent, 2010
and on My Father's Birthday, 2010
and on Amelioration: Earth Day, 2011
amd pm Loos'd of Limits, 2011

Gene's memoirs available on amazon:
Tiger Creek Tales: Memories of an Oil Patch Kid
by Billy Gene Carriker

Click on book cover once or twice
to enlarge for reading

Supercool Bookshelves built by Uncle Gene and friend Frank
Looks like Aunt Elaine put all the books back . . .
Always up to something . . .
Uncle Gene, my dad ~ Willard, and Uncle Robert
working on a project in the mid-80s


  1. What a great tribute to a great Uncle. Uncle Gene was always special to me and I'll miss him so much. Thanks for posting this wonderful memorial.

  2. As I posted on Uncle Gene's obit site, I think every kid should get to have at least one uncle like Uncle Gene. In my mind, he just sort of epitomized what an uncle should be.

  3. My sister Di writes:

    "Thanks for posting, Kit. The amazon reviews of Uncle Gene's book are awesome."

    Including this one by my mom:

    "Like the warm glow of an Autumn afternoon,
    Reminiscences bring the pleasure of recalling
    The past for the older set and opening the
    Vistas of yesteryear to the youngsters.

    What fun!!" ~Mary E. Carriker