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Ola Eugene Vitatoe, 93, resident of Bluffton, Indiana since 2003 passed away June 14, 2023.
Eugene was born April 5, 1930, Albany, Kentucky.
Eugene grew up working on the farm in Albany, Kentucky.
Eugene plowed many fields walking behind an Old Mule and Plow all day long.
Different times before the break of day light Eugene would use an Old Coal Lantern to see, and he would shovel a wagon full of corn, and take it to the Mill to have it ground up.
In 1946, Eugene started singing gospel songs in Churches with his two (2) sisters Wandalene Vitatoe & Geraldine Vitatoe and his niece Margie Nell Thurston.
During this time, Eugene purchased his first car, a 1937 Chrysler.
In 1947, Eugene got his first Guitar (German Guitar) from his brother Ed Vitatoe who had purchased it during the time he was in WW2-Germany.
Later that year, Eugene started singing with Elmer Butler, Skyler Honeycutt, and John “Slick” Lowhorn at churches in Albany, Kentucky, and the surrounding Counties.
This gospel singing group were better known as the Lee’s Chapel Quartet.
While singing with the Lee’s Chapel Quarter, Ola Eugene Vitatoe meet this beautiful young girl named Ila Dean Beaty in 1949 at the Chanute Church in Pickett County, Tennessee.
Ola Eugene Vitatoe and Ila Dean Beaty were married on March 19, 1950, at the Highway Church located in Albany, Kentucky by Preacher Stephen Polly.
The witnesses at Eugene and Ila Dean wedding were Herbert Polson and James Prince, and both were Preachers.
After 70 ½ Years of marriage, Ila Dean Vitatoe passed away on October 29, 2020.
Eugene and Ila Dean had three (3) Sons, Gerald Vitatoe, and special friend Sue Dickey, from Decatur, Indiana, Harold Vitatoe & wife Janice Vitatoe from Bluffton, Indiana and Rick Vitatoe and wife Libby Vitatoe from Bluffton, Indiana.
Five (5) Grandchildren: David Vitatoe, Scott Vitatoe, Eric Vitatoe, Matthew Vitatoe and Abigail Vitatoe.
Ten (10) Great Grandchildren: Madeline Vitatoe, Zachary Vitatoe, Allen Vitatoe, Asher Vitatoe, Addison Vitatoe, Aiden Vitatoe, Eleanor Vitatoe, Jovi Schultz, Avery Robbins, and Cooper Lewis.
Eugene Vitatoe was preceded in death by his parents: Marion (M.C.) Vitatoe, and Ada Brown Vitatoe.
Five (5) Brothers: Wayland Vitatoe, William (Bill) Vitatoe, Leland Vitatoe, Clarence Edward (Ed) Vitatoe, and James Vitatoe.
Seven (7) Sisters: Nellie Greenway, Georgia Polston, Zelma Thurston, Minnie Vitatoe, Wandalene Vitatoe, Geraldine Vitatoe, and one (1) infant sister Eliza Vitatoe that died at birth.
After Eugene and Ila Dean were married, they purchased a home in Pickett County, Tennessee.
Then they moved their family to Detroit, Michigan where Eugene started to work for Chrysler Corporation until 1970 when they decided to move back to Pickett County.
Eugene had transferred his employment from Detroit to the new Chrysler Facility being built in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and a was member of the United Auto Workers Union until he retired in 1974.
Eugene and Ila Dean loved those fresh vegetables that they planted in their garden each year along with lots of canning.
Eugene enjoyed Pheasant and Rabbit hunting, but his favorite was Squirrel hunting in the fall of the year, and probably one of the best skilled small game hunters ever from Albany, Kentucky.
Eugene favorite sport to watch on TV was baseball and the Detroit Tigers, Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds.
When you came to Eugene and Ila Dean home you were always welcome with open arms, and you could see and feel the loved that they shared with each other.
Within minutes, you had the offerings of cake and pies that Ila Dean had baked and the opportunity of playing and singing songs with Eugene or just sitting around and talking.
Eugene always had a strong religious belief and along with his wife Ila Dean, they went to Church as often as they could and raised their 3 sons to go to church and encourage them to raise their families to go to church.
Eugene and Ila Dean were members of Vera Cruz Family Worship Center in Bluffton.
Eugene was a Bluegrass and Gospel singer for almost 80 years, and he loved playing his Guitar and singing his favorite songs his entire life!
But, most of all Eugene loved his family, and especially the grandkids.
Eugene and Ila Dean is reunited now in Heaven with their dedicated loved that they shared with each other.
What a wonderful Life that Eugene Vitatoe have lived!
Burial will be in Davidson Cemetery in Pickett County, TN.