Earl Gene Hanika was born on Sept. 2, 1928 on a farm northeast of Barada, near the Elm tree corner to John and Josie (Bodle) Hanika. Gene was the 10th child born to the John Hanika family.
He was raised in the Catholic faith. He attended school at Hazel Dell, east of Shubert, graduating from the 8th grade. After school, Gene began farming with his father and continued to farm the entire rest of his life. Along with farming he also held several outside jobs, working in the Oil fields in Kansas and Iowa, Kentopp Elevator in Shubert and was the wrangler for Indian Cave State Park for 30 years until his retirement in 2012.
In 1951 Gene was drafted into the United States Army, he was stationed at Indianapolis and Fort Riley, KS. Exactally two years to the day he was drafted, in 1953, he was given an honorable discharge and returned home to continue his farming career.
On Aug. 25, 1952 he married Jeannine Shafer in Falls City, and on Aug. 25, 2012 they celebrated 60 years of marriage.
In 1955, Gene and Jeannine moved to the Elmer Shafer farm east of Shubert where he farmed the land there and also the land of his Uncle Lee Hanika. In March of 1962 they moved to the present family farm east of Shubert and raised three daughters: Tonda, Marla and Kimberly.
Gene had a great love for horses all of his life never being without at least two or three on his farm at all times. He shared a love of horses with his daughters involving them in 4-H, saddle club, rodeo and horse show events.
After his girls were grown he became involved in calf and team roping where him and Jeannine traveled to horse shows and rodeo’s competing. He joined the National Old Timers Rodeo Association in 1979. In 1982 he traveled to Hyannis to the National Old Timers Rodeo where he and his team roping partner Ralph Norvell walked away with first place.
Gene passed away at his home surrounded by his family on May 31, 2013 after a short battle with cancer.
Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Jeannine, of the home; daughters, Tonda Earlene Jones and husband Ronald, of West Des Moines, IA, Kimberly Dawn Dunn and husband Randy, of Shubert; son-in-law, Junior Dunn, of Dodge City, KS. Grandchildren, Wade (Amy) Dunn, Dodge City, KS, Reed Dunn, Seattle, WA, Timothy Stanley, Minneapolis, MN, Shayla (Robert) Hammer, Stella, and Evan (Hillary) Dunn, Stella; great grandchildren Payton and Colt Dunn, Dodge City; sister-in laws, Reva Marquez, Shubert, and Connie Shafer, Auburn; brother-in-law, Richard Shafer, of Wilbur. Many nieces, nephews and friends.
Besides his parents he was preceded in death by his daughter, Marla in 2008, and his siblings, Bill Hanika, Adolph Hanika, Mary Keithley, Melvin Hanika, Mark Hanika, Dutch Hanika, Rose Calett, Susette Coughlin, and Johnny Hanika.
Funeral Services will be Monday, June 3, 2013 at 11:00 AM at Dorr & Clark Funeral Home with Pastor Jerry Yount & Wayne Shafer officiating; interment in Harris Cemetery, Barada, NE with Military Graveside Honors by the Falls City Ceremonial Honor Guard.
The family will receive friends after 6:00 PM on June 2, 2013 at the family farm, 65041-719 Road; 2 miles East, l mile North & ½ mile East of Shubert, NE. There will be no viewing or visitation at the funeral service. Family prefers memorials to Family Choice.