Walter Eugene "Gene" Verner, age 90, a resident of Fairhope, Alabama, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019.
He was born in Friona, Texas to Walter and Dora Verner. He grew up on a farm in the Oklahoma Lane area outside of Farwell, Texas and graduated from Bovina High School in 1946.
Gene, as he was known to his family and friends, was a Navy veteran who was stationed in the Pacific after World War II.
After his service, he entered Texas Tech University with the intent of becoming an engineer. It was there that he recognized a call into the ministry.
He graduated from Wayland Baptist College, and then attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (B.D. in 1954 and Ed.D. in 1979).
It was while he was a student he met his future wife, the former Marjorie Rieben. The two were wed on May 3, 1954 and married for 64 years.
Gene first served as a pastor of Southside Baptist Church in Bay Minette before being appointed as a missionary with the Southern Baptist Convention. Gene and Marjorie went to Ghana, West Africa where they served for 35 years.
In Ghana, Gene helped found the Ghana Baptist Seminary in Abuakwa. He was very instrumental in the planning and building the campus as well as administration, course preparation, teaching and serving as the first principal. Additional work included church planting, mission business manager and Christian outreach.
In 1994, Gene and Marjorie retired to Fairhope, Alabama. Gene was active at the First Baptist Church in Fairhope as well as being a mission speaker throughout the area. He served as needed preaching at the Durant Chapel Baptist Church.
Gene had a long life and a good life. He helped many people both in this country and in Ghana, and he will be remembered fondly by all who knew him. Gene has gone to be with the Lord.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Marjorie Verner.
Gene is survived by his son, Daryl Verner; his daughter, Robbie Wood; and his son-in-law, Richard Wood.
Funeral services will be held Friday, Jan. 25, 2019 at 10 a.m. at Wolfe-Bayview Funeral Home, Fairhope.
The family will begin receiving friends at 9 a.m. until time of service.
Interment will follow in Memory Gardens of Fairhope.
Arrangements by Wolfe-Bayview Funeral Homes & Crematory Inc., 19698 Greeno Road, Fairhope, AL 36532, 251-990-7775, www.wolfefuneralhomes.com.