starks logo
C. E. Wesner

C. E. “Gene” Wesner

March 5th, 1928 - December 19th, 2022

Gene's Obituary

C.E. (Gene) Wesner, 94, of Buchanan passed away peacefully on Monday, December 19, 2022, with his family around him in the home he built in 1959.

A combined Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 am on Saturday, April 29, 2023 at St. Anthony Catholic Church, 509 W. Fourth St., Buchanan. Inurnment will follow at Oak Ridge Cemetery, Buchanan, with full military honors rendered by the Buchanan American Legion, Post 51, and the United States Army. A time of visitation will take place two hours prior, from 9-11 am also at the church. Memorial contributions in Gene's name may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Red Bud Area Ministries (Christmas toy program) and the Buchanan American Legion. Arrangements have been entrusted to Swem Chapel, Buchanan.

Gene was Born on March 5, 1928, to Edward and Ruth Wesner, where he grew up on Main Street just a few homes down from where he eventually built his family home at the end of that street and lived until his passing.

Gene graduated from Buchanan High School in 1946. Upon graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Army and served his country during the Korean War (1946-1948). After being honorably discharged from the service he was employed at the John Russel dealership from 1949-1952.

In 1951 he graduated from the General Motors Institute and transitioned to working at the Frank Edmond Chevrolet dealership in Buchanan from 1952-1958. Upon leaving Edmond Chevrolet he went to work for Chevrolet Motor Division as an Area Zone Service Manager, working out of the South Bend, Indiana Zone Office covering a large territory from Muskegon, Michigan down to Fort Wayne, Indiana calling on the Chevrolet Franchised dealers.

In 1952 he married Jacqueline (Jacky) Stark who he would go on to celebrate 70 years of marriage with.

In 1970, Gene was able to come back to Buchanan where he continued in the automotive business by purchasing the Chevrolet dealership from Frank Edmond. This was such a proud moment for Gene as it allowed him to be of greater service to the community, he not only called home, but so loved.

Many of his dealers he called on while on the road with Chevrolet became his network of dealers and friends over his years of being Gene Wesner Chevrolet, Inc. Because of his love for serving the people of the community and his connections to all he came across because of the dealership that was where you would find him most every day until the age of 90.

If you couldn’t find Gene at the dealership you could often find him out in the community. He knew no stranger. As he would go “prospecting” you can bet he was always promoting Buchanan too. His continued support for his town was evident in the areas that he devoted additional time to. He was a past member of the Buchanan Chamber of Commerce, Hospice at Home, DDA member and sat on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Auto Dealers Association and the McCoy Creek development, finance committee for SMCAS.

He served on the Buchanan Planning Commission from 1958-1972, was a city commissioner from 1972-1977 and was the 1985 Chamber of Commerce Red Bud Award Winner. Gene worked with Crime Stoppers, Buchanan Police Dept. and the Buckle Up Buchanan programs.
In 2011 he was presented with the Bob Koenigshof Service Award. An annual award presented to a resident of the Buchanan area who has demonstrated a personal commitment to improving life within our community through contributions and service to others.

His love of children of all ages was evident with his volunteer reading at Moccasin School, sponsoring Optimist Soccer, Buchanan Floor hockey, Soap Box Derby runs, and a Little League coach in the 60’s. Yearly, he had been an anonymous Santa Claus for our elementary schools, the Chamber Teddy Bear Tea Parties and even the Buchanan Senior Center. Over a span of 50 plus years he was a contributor to the United Way and so proud of being a lifelong Blood Donor to the American Red Cross. Gene was always out recruiting for others to become donors. Giving regularly until medications no longer allowed him to.

One of the most important legacies he will leave behind to Buchanan is his “Christmas Toy Program”. This year was the 42nd year of distribution along with Red Bud Area Ministries for a growing program over the years to benefit the families and kids of Buchanan for so many happier Christmas mornings.

Gene loved the outdoors, hunting, fishing and water skiing. He played all sports through high school, and he held a special place in his heart for his beloved Chicago Cubs and Michigan Wolverines. He got to see his Cubbies win the World Series in 2016 and was able to attend the Rose Bowl with Jacky in Pasadena, New Year’s Day 1998.

Gene is survived by his three children, Michael (Louanne) Wesner, daughters, Michele (Mickey) Frost and Cheryl (Larry) Aalfs; grandchildren Tim & Brandy Wesner, Jenny & Scott Martin, Matt Geik & Tami Pit, Sarah & Russel Albert, Chad & Barb Shirley, Tori & Tim Austin and Kimberly Aalfs; great grandchildren, Bailey & Travis Wesner, Gavin Martin, Jonah & Jared Pit, Noah & Kinsley Albert, Lucas & Dylan Shirley, Emma & Alaina Austin, Jake & Makayla Aalfs, Logan & Cullen Aalfs Edgerle, sister in law Roberta Wesner and several nieces and nephews.. He was preceded in death by his wife Jacky, parents, Ed & Ruth Wesner, brothers, Charles & Robert Wesner, brother and sister- in-law Dr. Robert & Helen Stark.

A combined celebration of life for both Gene & Jacky will be announced at a later date. Memorial contributions in Gene's name may be made to the Alzheimer's Association, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Red Bud Area Ministries (Christmas toy program) and the Buchanan American Legion. Arrangements have been entrusted to Swem Chapel, Buchanan.

Memorial Contributions

Please click a link below to make a memorial contribution.

Service Details

View the current service details below. Sign up for email or text updates to receive notifications of any changes to service schedules or important information.

Sign up for schedule updates