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December 23, 1931 - October 29, 2012 RICHARDSON, TX Gene was born in Wewoka, OK on Dec. 23, 1931, to J. Bart and Marjory McNemer Aldridge. Wewoka is the capital of the Seminole Nation and Gene was a proud member of the tribe. After graduating from Wewoka HS, he attended Westminster College in Fulton, MO for one year and then transferred to the University of Oklahoma where he served as chaplain and choral director of SAE Fraternity. He received a degree in Geology and, upon graduation from OU, joined Geophysical Service Inc., a subsidiary of Texas Instruments. He was then called into the U.S. Air Force where he served as a Personnel Officer for Connally AFB near Waco, TX, and was a member of the base basketball and volleyball teams. His volleyball team twice reached the World Air Force Championship Tournament, winning 3rd and 2nd place in 1955 and 1956. In 1959, he married Martha Reid of Woodville, TX. A time that Gene remembered as "the best day's work I ever did". They settled in Richardson, TX in 1960 and Gene began working at TI as its first Corporate Risk Manager. After leaving TI in 1969, Gene became owner of Metro Insurance Services, a Dallas-based commercial insurance agency. In 1960, Gene and Martha joined the First United Methodist Church of Richardson where he served several terms on the church board and was a member of the Building Committee that directed construction of the church site on Belt Line Rd. He served on the Nominating Committee, and was a long-time member of the church choir. Gene also sang the bass lead in his church's presentations of "Amahl and the Night Visitors." Throughout his life, Gene was involved with affairs of the University of Oklahoma. For over 30 years he was active in the OU Club of Dallas. In 1973, he founded the "Sooner Club of Dallas" and served as its first president. He was a charter member of "The Associates" - a private funding organization for OU. He was elected to, and served a 3-year term on the OU Alumni Board of Directors. In 1974, Gene began coaching neighborhood youth basketball. He found this task to be so rewarding that he continued teaching the sport at Prairie Creek Elementary over the next 15 seasons. His "Prairie Creek Pacers" won five city championships. Gene developed basketball skills for many Richardson youngsters who played middle and HS basketball. His driveway with court markings and lighting for night play was a long-time gathering place for Richardson young people. In 1980, he served as president of the J.J. Pearce High School Booster Club. Gene left this world on Oct. 29, 2012. Gene is survived by his loving wife Martha Reid Aldridge, sister Marilyn Aldridge Harkins of Raymore, MO, daughter Ruth Ann Aldridge of Richardson, TX, son and daughter-in-law J. Bart and Deborah Lyle Aldridge of Richardson, TX, son and daughter-in-law Philip Reid and Jenny Jeter Aldridge of Austin, TX, and seven grandchildren Reid, Evelyn, Libby, Drew, Blake, Philip and John Aldridge. Additional surviving family members include one nephew, one niece, three great-nephews and one great niece -- all of the Kansas City, MO area. Donations can be made to: The First United Methodist Church Richardson, Attn: Business Office, P.O. Box 830877, Richardson, TX 75083-0877, The Seminole Nation Museum, 524 S. Wewoka (P.O. Box 1532), Wewoka, OK 74884-1532 or The Network, 741 S. Sherman St., Richardson, TX 75081. A memorial service will be held at 4:00 p.m., Friday, Nov. 2, at First United Methodist Church of Richardson, 503 N. Central Expressway.

Published in The Oklahoman from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2, 2012
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