William Eugene “Gene” Milligan
William Eugene “Gene” Milligan
May 6, 1933- May 17, 2019
William Eugene “Gene” Milligan, 86, passed away peacefully on May 17, 2019, at Carson Tahoe Hospital in Carson City, Nevada.
There will be a celebration on life on June 17, 2019, at 2:00 p.m., in the chapel at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Community Church, 3000 N. lompa Lane,Carson City, Nevada. A military honor service will be held on June 18, 2019, at 1:00 p.m., atVeterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley, Nevada.
Gene was born May 6, 1933, in El Paso, Texas, to Sarah Lulu Mclean and Jesse Paul Heathcoat.His family moved throughout the Southwest and he and his mother finally settled in JunctionCity, Oregon. Gene a tended Junction City High School where he excelled In both football andbasketball. Gene enrolled In Mexico City College on the G. I. Bill where he played basketball fortheir team. He later transferred to the University of Oregon earning a B.S. in Psychology.
Upon graduation he entered the Navy and served from 1951-1955. His service included threedeployments to Korea. He also proudly served on board the U.S.S. Princeton. Gene waspresented the Presidential Unit Citation for setting the record for the longest service . in a combat zone without relief (90 days of day and night combat actions and was present at the signing of the Armistice. He was also Captain of the Starboard Catapult. He was Aviation Boatsman’s Mate where he personally fired planes off thousands of times.
While in Oregon, Gene’s love for his country took deep root and he became involved in politics.He moved his family to Nevada and organized a Republican party organization in Las Vegas andcontinued on to Carson City to serve in Governor Paul Laxalt’s cabinet from 1967 to 1971. Afterthis service to the State, Gene worked for the federal government in Washington, D.C. but thenmoved back to his home in Carson City where he would spend the rest of his life.
On September 19, 1977, Gene married Taunya Nelca Tello, his beloved wife of 40 years. Hethen entered the real estate profession and became the broker/owner of his own office. He also served as President of Sierra Nevada Board of Realtors In 1977, President of the Nevada Association of Realtors in 1983 and was selected as Realtor of the year in 1984. He remained active in the community until his retirement in 2002.
Gene lived a full, love-filled life with family and friends. He was an accomplished ballroom dancer; artist, painter and a prolific writer. He continually pursued his life time passion for politics and love of country and lived by the philosophy “less government and more personal freedom”.
Gene is survived by his cherished wife Taunya; his sons Jeff Milligan (Catherine Cuccaro) ofReno, Nevada; Phil Milligan of Winnemucca, Nevada; and his daughter Laurel (Brad) Thomson of Eureka, Montana; eight grandchildren: Dustin, Candice, Dashel, Micah, Johnny, Jennifer, Jesse and Katherine; and eight great grandchildren (soon to be nine).
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers that you make donations to the American Cancer Society.