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December 16, 1943 ~ September 29, 2023 (age 79) 79 Years Old
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Gene R Hashley, 79, lost his seven-year battle with pulmonary fibrosis Sept 29 at his home in Grand Rapids.
Gene was born in Jackson Dec 16, 1943, to Eugene and Leona Hashley, attended public schools in Jackson until moving to Lansing his senior year, graduating from Eastern High. He went to work as a copy boy for the Lansing State Journal but wanted to become a reporter. Hired by the Greenville Daily News in 1966, he honed his craft there before returning to The State Journal two years later. A friend said one theme emerged from his writing: Humanity. He emphasized how real people were affected by life.
After about eight years with The State Journal, Gene switched careers. He worked in several capacities for the State of Michigan including communications for the Dept. of Labor and director of communications for Wayne Co FIA. While working in Detroit Gene pursued his college degrees, earning his bachelor’s then master’s in Library Science and Information Science from Wayne State University. He put his degree to good use working for Capital Area District Library and Kent District Library.
Gene loved volunteering, was an avid reader, and devoted bicyclist, participating in many long-distance events including The DALMAC.
Over the years, he and his wife Janet, with whom he celebrated 56 years of marriage this year, hosted many exchange students.
He had a remarkable memory, a great sense of humor and a distinctive laugh. He was kind and a good listener.
Gene is survived by his wife Janet; sons Christopher (Jenny) of Grand Rapids and Michael (Amy) of Goose Creek SC; grandchildren Evan, Alex, and Avery also of Goose Creek; sister Bonnie (Harry) Barnes of Holt; brothers-in-law Ricard Royston (Susan) of Cedar and Michael (Carolyn) Royston of Lakeview; special family Denise, Doug, Whitney and Morgan Johnson of Kennesaw GA; many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, brother Larry and sister-in-law Terrey, father and mother-in-law John and Arlene Royston.
Honoring Gene’s wishes, a small celebration of his life will be held at a future date.