Gene was a scholar, a teacher, a writer, husband and a father. He had a friendly and pleasant demeanor towards everyone and a quick wit.
Walter Eugene Black was born in Kansas City, Kansas on March 7, 1944, to Walter and Ellyn (Kramper) Black. Gene was the eldest of four children.
Gene was a teacher at Hiram Scott College in the 1960s. Scottsbluff is where he met Sheryll Patterson, whom he married on October 12, 1975. They lived in Colorado and Nebraska for over thirty years. Together they authored and coauthored several published books and ran Cottonwood Press as owner/operators.
Gene was passionate about history and literature. He received his Doctorate at Denver University. He travelled to Europe and the Middle East on several occasions with his wife. They researched and wrote about people, places, and history together. After retiring from the Postal Service, Gene and Sheryll decided to return to Scottsbluff to a neighborhood where they had lived several times before. Sadly, Gene lost his wife during the move to a car accident. He continued to live in Scottsbluff with his dogs and travelled to visit family and friends. He enjoyed the public library, the monument, the museums, and other sites in the tri-state area and beyond. He volunteered as a mentor with Crossroads Mentoring. He enjoyed evening walks in the country and by the river. In May of 2016, Gene went missing near the flooded North Platte River.
Gene was preceded in death by his mother, Ellyn; father, Walter; wife, Sheryll; sister, Toby (Margaret); and brother, Jim. He is survived by three children, Tim, Julie and Greg; a sister, Caroline; five grandchildren; nieces, nephews and close friends in Nebraska and Colorado.
Gene's family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to the Scottsbluff Police Department, and the many other agencies and volunteers who searched for him. Their professionalism, diligence, dedication and compassion provided our family a source of comfort from our grief.
Gene will be lovingly remembered as a decent and thoughtful person, who enjoyed and marveled at the world around him. He will be missed.