Eugene “Geno” M. Golden, 85, of Eau Claire, died Saturday, September 18, 2021, at HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital.
Geno was born August 24, 1936, in Eau Claire to Christopher and Rose (Ludwikoski) Golden. He graduated from Regis High School in 1954 and was proud to be in the first graduating class of Regis.
Geno attended the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN, and participated in Varsity Football. In 1958, he graduated from M.A.T.C. in Milwaukee with an Associate Degree in Mortuary Science. Back in Eau Claire, he worked with his dad in the family-owned business, Golden Funeral Home. His son, Mark, joined him in business in 1990. Geno retired in 1998.
In 1963, Geno attended UWEC and played football for the Blugolds as a defensive end and wide receiver. He played on the 1963 and 1964 Conference Championship teams. He gained All-Conference and All-District first team honors on the #1 ranked, undefeated '63 team & the '64 team.
Geno's 42 years of coaching and dedicated service to young people has been a very rewarding part of his life. There was no better feeling for him than to say, "I was a Coach!" He has coached grade school, YMCA youth football, Varsity Assistant football at Regis for 15 years and Varsity Assistant for "D" ends, defensive line, linebackers and special teams for UWEC for 18 years. He also coached track, basketball, and fast pitch softball.
In 1998, Geno moved to Webster, WI, and spent 5 years as a faithful volunteer and coach. He was the head football coach there for 1 year.
His career has included being a WIAA football official for 18 years, a WIAA basketball official for 4 years, and 6 years as a girls' fast pitch umpire. He dedicated 15 years to being a WIAA and College baseball umpire. Geno played YMCA Senior League Basketball, retiring as the 2nd all-time leading scorer in history. His talents included being a state champion in YMCA volleyball, fast pitch softball and semi-pro baseball. Honors for his efforts include Man of the Year for the YMCA Board in 1975, UWEC Blugolds Athletic Hall of Fame and Regis High School Hall of Fame.
Geno, Dad, Gramps, Papa, Grandpa, was larger than life. His faith in the Lord guided him through many life experiences. He dearly loved his family, friends, and community. Geno was a special role model and mentor to his children and grandchildren for holding the value of teamwork, dedication and athleticism. He enjoyed many adventures with his children, grandchildren, and siblings, whether it was traveling, fishing, hunting, sporting events and pizza parties at Sammy’s…. there was never a dull moment. He had a wonderful voice and loved to pick up the guitar and sing a few songs, especially the “laughing song”. His sense of humor was like no other, he was known for his one-liners, limericks, and a good joke. His laugh was contagious, and his smile was one you would never forget.
Geno always looked forward to his Tuesday meet ups with the “Geno’s Golden Oldies” B.S. Club (Fred, Wens, Nook, Amy, and Buck)! His friendship with his teammates from the Blugolds ’63 & ’64 championship football team was impeccable, he cherished his visits with them and attending the reunions.
Geno was truly one of a kind! We love you and miss you!
Geno is survived by his children, Mike (Lisa) Golden of Queen Creek, AZ, Anne Golden of Phoenix, AZ, Mark Golden of Eau Claire, Jenna (Tony) Christensen of Shell Lake, WI, Andy (Fiancé Janelle Myers) Golden of Rice Lake, WI, Jordan Golden of Elk River, MN; grandchildren, Brittney (A.J.) Smith, Courtney (Lucas) Melendez, Josh Golden, Joe Golden, Zack (Rylee) Tirman, Nick Christensen, Chelsea (Dillion Melton) Christensen, Haley Christensen, Grace Christensen, Bryley Golden, Easton Golden, Jayda Golden; great-grandchildren, Carson and Aubrie Smith, Ruth, Emery and Miles Melendez, Jack Tirman, Evelyn Milton; siblings, Dr. Patrick Golden of Eugene, OR, Carol Bailey of Brooklyn Park, MN, Fred (Dianne) Golden of Eau Claire, twins Mary Wolfe of St. Cloud, MN and Marilyn Fetter of Eau Claire; sister-in-law Diane Golden of Golden Valley, MN, Brother-in-law David Harper of Hernando, MS; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.
Geno was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Tom and John; one sister, Kathleen Harper; three brothers-in-law, Marv Bailey, Mike Wolfe, Raymond Fetter.
A Memorial Mass will be held on Wednesday, October 20, 2021, at 1:00 pm at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Eau Claire with Fr. Brian Jazdzewski officiating. Visitation will be from 11:00 am until the time of Mass Wednesday at the church. Private family inurnment will be in St. Patrick’s Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please direct memorials in Geno’s name to the Regis Ramblers High School football program or the UW-Eau Claire Blugolds football program.
A Celebration of Geno’s Life will be held on Sunday, October 24, 2021, from 12-4 pm at Wild Ridge Golf Course.
Geno’s family would like to give special thanks to Care Partners Assisted Living and HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital Emergency Room and 6th Floor staff for their wonderful care and compassion.
Please share your memories and condolences online at www.hulkefamilyfh.com
Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Eugene "Geno" M. Golden, please visit our floral store.