In memoriam, Eugene Bennie Singsaas (1943 – 2010). Today is a sad anniversary. A very dear friend lost his battle with brain cancer one year ago. I didn’t know Gene very long, but he had been part of Shannon’s life for more than 20 years. Gene was a husband, a father, a veteran, a public servant, and a genealogy fanatic. He was a constant presence at the Rapid City genealogy library. By some strange karmic coincidence, my mother actually met Gene before I did while doing her own family research.
Gene and his wife, Sue, are like surrogate parents to Shannon, being there for her during the happy times and during tough personal crises. Gene meant a great deal to Shannon and our family.
Shannon got to know them through their daughter, and Shannon’s best friend, Holly. In the short time I have known Gene and Sue, I can tell you you will never meet more generous people in your life. They gave and give freely of themselves, in supporting their daughter, sons, grandchildren, and their almost-daughter, Shannon.
Gene courageously battled his brain tumor for more than a year. Through surgery and other treatments, he was able to continue on to see his new grandson and namesake, Bennie, born into this world. I feel very fortunate that he was also able to meet our Carter. Gene was as proud a grandpa to Carter as if he were flesh and blood.
In 2009, the first time I shaved my head for St. Baldrick’s, I did so in honor of Gene. This year, I do so again in his memory, and in honor of all who are battling cancer. I know Gene would be proud.