REV. EUGENE FRANCIS LYTTLERev. Eugene Francis Lyttle, 87, of Duluth, passed away on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at Solvay Hospice House, Duluth.
Rev. Eugene Francis Lyttle, 87, of Duluth, passed away on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at Solvay Hospice House, Duluth.
Rev. Eugene Francis Lyttle was born Dec. 17, 1925, in Harrison, N.J. to Bernard J. Lyttle and Mary Agness (Gannon).
Gene grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y.; he enlisted in the United States Marines in 1943 and served as an Aviation Machinist Mate stateside and in the Pacific Occupation of North China until 1946. Returning to N.Y., he attended Sampson College, majoring in Business Administration; he was an active member of the student council, the drama society, an editor of the college newsletter, a newscaster on the Sampson radio station, and a member of the boxing team. In 1949 he joined the Maritime Services - Merchant Marines; during that time he was a seaman first class and shipped throughout the Pacific; he was a volunteer shipboard organizer for the Seafarers International Union. In 1951 Gene left the Merchant Marines and returned to San Francisco where he had previously met and fell in love with Berna Lubeck. They married that March and decided to start and raise their family of six children in San Francisco. Gene had an extensive and accomplished career with the Department of Interior, National Park Service that took his family from San Francisco and all across the country. In 1969, Gene became the Chief of Land Acquisitions for the National Park Service expansion of a five state region; based out of Duluth, and was paramount in the launch of the Voyageur’s National Park and Apostle Islands National Park.
After the loss of his wife and eldest daughter in a motor vehicle accident, Gene took an early retirement in 1974 to focus on the completion of raising his five teens. He also found time to be active in his community, to volunteer, to seek positions in city government, and teach bible study to the elderly and the imprisoned. Gene worked as a realtor, was an avid writer and poet, as well as an accomplished painter. His written works have been published in magazines, textbooks, a novel, and many a letter to the editor. Family and friends, the Gospel Mission and the Covenant Church share his paintings. 1982 brought another calling, Seminary School; Gene attended St. Thomas Seminary, Pope John the 23rd Seminary, and completed his theology training at St. John’s. Gene was ordained a Catholic priest Jan. 3, 1993. Father Gene was pastor at Holy Family Church, Cloquet, Minn., (1993-1999), Sts. Mary and Joseph Church, Sawyer, Minn., (1993-1999), St. Charles Church, Cass Lake, Minn., (1999-2002), and St. Theodore Church, LaPorte, Minn., (1999-2002). Due to health issues Father Gene retired from the active priesthood on Aug. 7, 2002.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Berna; daughter, Maria; sister, Margaret Schwarz; brothers, Barney, Ken, and Tom Lyttle.
He is survived by his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren; Geralyn (Lyttle) and Mike Boisjoli; Jerod, Lisa (Haglin), Hannah, and Addison Boisjoli; Janel (Boisjoli), Andy and Sydney Broman; Christopher and Christine (Jablonski) Boisjoli; Marissa (Boisjoli), Jordan and Baby Nordberg; Paula and Winter Lyttle-Graham; Maureen Lyttle, Caleb, Susan (Vernel), Samantha and Natalie Hanger; Patrick, Jill (Verlo), Lisa and Amy Lyttle; Michael, Renee ((Boisjoli), Jacob, Joshua and Matt Lyttle.
Our family would like to thank Westwood Assisted Living, Westwood Memory Care, and Solvay Hospice House, with heartfelt gratitude, for their wonderful care and compassion that they gave Fr. Gene during his journey.
VISITATION: 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, March 8, 2013 in Dougherty Funeral Home. Mass of Christian burial in Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary on Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 12:30 p.m.. Interment at a later date. Direct memorials in Gene’s name to: Salesian Missions, 2 Lafevre Lane, New Rochelle, NY 10801-5710, salesianmissions.org. Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home (218) 727-3555.
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