Gene Verostko Passes Away

Posted: October 31, 2008 in Uncategorized

Courtesy of the Terre Haute Tribune-Star:

Gene Verostko, 18-time winner of Men’s City Golf championship, dies at 81

TERRE HAUTE — Eugene A. Verostko, 81, of Terre Haute, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008, in his home. He was born on Feb. 7, 1927, in Terre Haute, to John Verostko and Mary (Soltis) Verostko. Gene worked as a printer at Wabash Valley Fiberbox in earlier years. He was a member of the American Legion Post 104, Marine Core League and a member and past president of the Terre Haute Parks and Recreation Department. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

Survivors include his children, Gary Verostko and wife Dee of Bloomington, Gayle Fountain and husband Larry of Carbon, Paul Verostko and wife Candy and Daniel Verostko, all of Terre Haute, and Sandra Dunn and husband Michael of Bloomington; grandchildren, Jennifer Fountain, John Knauer and wife Angel of Marshall, Ill., Paul Verostko of Terre Haute, Hogan Dunn of Bloomington and Madisyn Verostko of West Union, Ill.; great-grandchildren, Gabrielle and Kendra Knauer; many nieces and nephews; special nieces and nephews, John Verostko, Sharon Oakley and Darcy Gray; and close nieces, Debbie Donnenhoffer and Carolyn Davis.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Joann, who passed away in 1985; one grandchild, Conner Dunn; two brothers; and 10 sisters.

Gene was one of the most talented athletes ever to be graduated from Gerstmeyer Technical High School. Whether it was basketball, baseball, football or golf, he demonstrated skill levels that only most could hope to emulate. Playing on the Tech basketball team, he helped the Black Cats to the semi-state round of the state tournament. On the gridiron, he once scored the game’s only touchdown when he ran to the left while his team blocked to the right. Les Brown, a former Gerstmeyer five-letter man recalls a basketball game in which Gene, guarded on both sides, shot the ball from behind his back over his own head in the basket.

After high school, Gene concentrated on his primary interest which was golf. He began caddying at the age of 12. He once said, “The first time I saw someone hit a golf ball and watched it fly through the air, I knew it was the game for me.” Once Gene Verostko put his mind on becoming Terre Haute’s premier golfer, it took little time for him to become a legend on local fairways. He won his first city title in 1951 and his 18th in 1975. He later annexed his fifth Casey, (Ill.) Amateur in 1993. Gene was capable of par golf at Hulman Links well after he reached the age of 70. In a golfing career that spanned more than 50 years, Gene won well over 100 tournaments with a silky smooth swing and a putting stroke that allowed him to hole putts from anywhere on the greens. Twice he shot 64s in tournaments on courses he had never played before.

Good friend, Bill Doan, summed up Gene Verostko’s golf game when he said, “Gene was a winner because of the size of his heart. He willed himself to many of his triumphs. Add that to a work ethic that was second to none in regard to practice, and you have Gene Verostko, a champion for the ages.” Being in Gene’s company was always a pleasure. To say he was someone special would be an understatement of the century.

Funeral services are noon Monday in Thomas Funeral Home, 2200 N. 13th Street. with the Rev. Darvin Winters officiating. Visitation is 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday and 11 a.m. to service time Monday in the funeral home. Burial is in Calvary Cemetery, in Terre Haute, with American Legion Post 104 performing military honors. In lieu of flowers, donation may be made to JR Golf Program of the Boys and Girls Club.

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