|September 2, 1930 ~ January 6, 2015
Almus Eugene Laxson, 84 of Rogers, Arkansas, passed away Tuesday, January
6th, 2015, at Northwest Medical Center in Bentonville surrounded by family
after a brief illness. Gene left this life as he lived it; with a positive
outlook on his terms, and his life story is remarkable. Gene loved
activities that involved other people, which is why he enjoyed travelling on
Caribbean cruises, attending Arkansas Razorback sporting events, and
belonging to the Masonic Order and the Shriners. Gene was honorably
discharged from the United State Air Force as a disabled veteran and was
proud of his military service throughout his life.
Gene was born September 2nd, 1930 in Clarendon, Arkansas to Almus G.
Laxson and Lena Mae Clark. His early years were difficult in eastern Arkansas,
as his family was extremely poor. When he was 10, his mother passed away.
To find work, "Grandpa" Deaton was forced to travel, so Gene went to live
with his maternal grandmother and aunt, and his half-siblings went to live at an
orphanage in Little Rock. It was during this time that the baby boy in the
family was adopted away. This would become a significant event for Gene, and
his brothers and sister later in life.
Gene graduated from Stuttgart High School and in 1951, enlisted in the Air
Force. In December of 1951, he married Margaret Terhune of Brinkley, with
whom he had three children; Darrell Eugene, deceased, Sheryl Laxson Brown
and husband, Greg of The Woodlands, TX and Carol Laxson Turley and
husband, Scott of Fayetteville, AR.
After his military service, Gene worked as a radio operator for the Arkansas
State Police in Forrest City, and later as a design draftsman for the
Traveler Boat Company in Little Rock and Ouachita Marine in Arkadelphia. In
1970, Gene and his family moved to Fayetteville for him to attend the
University of Arkansas, where he earned his Bachelor's of Science in
Industrial Engineering. It was during this time he developed his lifelong
love of the Razorbacks. Upon graduation, Gene went to work for International
Paper Company in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Later Gene took a position at the
Pine Bluff Arsenal as a production engineer, where he worked to retirement.
In 1971, while going to college in Fayetteville, Gene and his siblings were
contacted by their infant baby brother, who had been adopted some 30 years
prior. It turned out that his half-bother Billy Joe Samuels had been living
not more than an hour away from him in Pea Ridge, Arkansas. The amazing
thing is that if the separated brothers had crossed paths while living in
northwest Arkansas, they would have certainly recognized each other from
their striking similarity.
In 1983, Gene married Loreta Muriel Laxson, his wife of 31 years, till his
passing. With Muriel, Gene's family expanded to include Saundra Van
Landingham and husband, Terry of Pine Bluff, AR, Cynthia Brennan and
husband, Terry of Tulsa, OK, Stephanie Doss of St. Louis, MO, and Greg
McAdoo and wife, Julie of Rogers, AR. Gene's family gave him five
grandchildren and three great grandchildren to love and cherish.
Gene and Muriel retired to northwest Arkansas in 1994, where they settled
into a full and busy life together. They enjoyed frequent trips to Branson,
where Gene was known to participate in the shows. Gene and Muriel were
regulars with their friends at the McDonald's on Walton Blvd in Rogers every
Monday through Friday for their Morning Coffee group. They found their
church family at First Christian Church in Rogers, AR, where they were
members of the Disciple Sunday School class. Once a month, Gene and Muriel
helped to welcome family and friends as church greeters for the
Gene was a lifelong Mason, and was Lodge Master and Secretary for Masonic
Lodge #460 in Rogers. Also, he served as the Secretary-Treasurer for the NWA
Shrine Club. As a member of the Nomad Shriners, he played in the Banjo
Band, and volunteered for the Shriners Circus held at Parsons Stadium in
Springdale. Gene was always eager to distribute a Shriners coloring book and
colors for a child or their parent, as appropriate.
Gene didn't mind being in the spotlight. He loved to demonstrate his talent
for "calling the ducks" without the aid of a manufactured duck call to
everyone. He also liked to dance, and was a member of the Sophisticated
Ladies Plus tap dancers of Bella Vista - Gene was the "Plus" of course! He
taught his daughters, Sheryl and Carol how to jitterbug, so that regardless
of the location - be it at a restaurant or the NWA Mall food court - if
there was space to dance and big band music playing, he was dancing.
A memorial service with Masonic rites and military honors, celebrating Gene
Laxson's life, will be held at 2:00 PM, Sunday, January 11th, 2015 at First
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 905 South 13th Street, Rogers, AR,
with the Reverend Shawn Wallace officiating. The internment will be held at
10:00 AM, Monday, January 12th, 2015, at the National Cemetery in
In the spirit of Gene's life, and in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made
to the Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis, located at 2001 South
Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO, 63131-3597.
Carol and family,
Please accept my condolences in the loss of your father. I
remember his as a fun and intelligent gentleman. He was quick to
start dancing with any one capable of keeping up with him. I
remember him dancing with you, Carol. He was very willing to
share his love of industrial engineering with me when I was
considering the field. Hopefully the pain of grief will soon be
replaced by more pleasant memories of times with him.
Gene was a great man and friend