Eugene "Gene" Francis Lee, Whitewater, WI
February 22, 1921 - January 12, 2016
Eugene “Gene” Francis Lee, age 95 , of Whitewater, WI passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016. Gene was born on Feb. 22, 1920, in Milwaukee, WI, the son of Frank J. and Eleanor ( Pust) Lee. He served his country in the U. S. Army Airforce during World War II, and after returning, worked as the Advertising Manager for the Whitewater Register. He was known throughout the area as “Cousin Otto” the clown and performed in parades, schools, and at Circus World in Baraboo. He was the Red Dot Potato Chip clown and one of the original Ronald McDonalds. He was inducted into the International Clown Hall of Fame in 1992, and founded a local Clown Alley to teach the basics to future clowns. He was a member of the Congregational United Church of Christ, the Masonic Lodge, the American Legion and the Forty and Eight.
Surviving are his wife of 67 years, Jeanette Kitzman; his children: Kay (Dean) Amhaus of Grafton, WI, Richard (Laurie) Lee of Winthrop Harbor, IL, and Robert (Kathleen) Lee of St. Louis, MO; grandchildren: Rena , Andrew, Christopher, and Nicholas; and great-grandchildren, Doran and Adara. Gene was preceded in death by his parents; a sister, Viola Sheely; and two brothers, Harold and William Gettleman.
Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016, at the CONGREGATIONAL UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, 130 S. Church Street, Whitewater, WI, with Rev. Luke Bocher officiating. Burial will be in the Hillside Cemetery, Whitewater, WI. Visitation will be from 10 until 11 a.m. on Saturday at the CHURCH until the time of the services.
The family would like to thank the staff of Rainbow Hospice and Fairhaven for their compassionate care. Those planning an expression of sympathy may wish to consider a memorial to the Make a Wish Foundation.
The NITARDY FUNERAL HOME, Whitewater, WI, is assisting the family, www.nitardyfuneralhome.com