Gene Harland Abels, M.D., 82, passed away surrounded by his loving family on Sunday, July 6, 2014, in his hometown of Gallipolis, Ohio. He was born on March 5, 1932, in Chillicothe, Ohio, to the Rev. Harland Hubert and Helen Burdine Abels.
As the son of a minister, Gene grew up in several small towns around Ohio, including Cedarville, Jamestown and Spencerville, where he graduated from Spencerville High School in 1950. Following high school, with several scholarships and much hard work, Gene attended The Ohio State University, where he received his BA from the College of The Arts & Sciences in 1954, Cum Laude, followed by his medical degree from the College of Medicine in 1957. He was a member of a professional fraternity: Alpha Epsilon Delta, and a Greek fraternity: Phi Kappa Tau. He has also been a life member of the OSU Alumni Association since 1971.
After completing his residency in Georgia, Gene moved his young family back to Ohio. In 1961, Gene launched his career with Holzer Hospital, where he specialized in cardiology and co-founded the cardiac care unit along with Jacob Wineberger, M.D. and Sharon Eubanks, R.N. He co-founded The Medical Plaza in 1970, along with James A. Kemp, M.D. and Gerald E. Vallee, M.D, and retired from there in 2009, after over 50 years of medical practice. He participated in the Gallia County Medical Society, The Ohio State Medical Association, and the American Medical Association. Gene truly enjoyed his work and cared for his many patients!
Gene married fellow OSU alumni Marjorie Jean Allyn on a snowy Christmas day in 1956, in her home town of Ironton, Ohio; they have been happily married for 57 years. They are members of The Grace United Methodist Church. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, laughing and telling jokes, traveling, playing golf & basketball, singing and listening to music, and reading, in his relentless pursuit of knowledge. He was dedicated to public service: he served on the school board for Gallipolis City Schools 1980-83, and was President of the board in 1982; the City Commission of Gallipolis 1998-2001; and as the house MD serving jail inmates. He, Ike Wiseman, and Ron Carmichael were the driving force in the development of the Cliffside Golf Club, where he served as the first president of the board.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Helen Gloria Abels, and his son Bradley Steven Abels, and many dear friends.
Gene is survived by his loving wife Jeannie Abels; his daughters Barbara Abels, Beth Abels, and Sara Abels; his brother George Hubert (Ruth) Abels of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and their sons Gary, Gregg (Linda), Glenn, Bob, and Guy (Denise) Abels; his grandchildren Brad Cline, and Alex & Lani Abels; and many other beloved relatives and friends.
In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorial donations be made to: Friends of Gallia County Animals, PO Box 252, Rio Grande, Ohio; the Bossard Memorial Library; the Ariel Theatre; The French Art Colony; or the charity of your choice. Condolences may be left on Gene H. Abels online guest book at mccoymoore.com.