Eugene Gehrig Edge … Gene – a man with many nicknames – Darb, Badger, Baby Gene, and of course Daddy and Grandpa Gene
Obligatory Statistics … Dec 18, 1942 to Dec 19, 2019 …. 77 years and a day. Born in Florala AL, the 10thand last child, to Joe and Jessie Alma Edge. Preceded in death by his whole family … he’s the last “original Boggy Boy” from the Edge clan. Leaves behind his daughter, Debbie Edge Fossum, and two grandsons, Trevor (21) and Travis (17), and his best friend, Jackie Crot. Also survived by multiple nieces and nephews scattered across the USA – too many to name but loved by all. Joined the Army after high school and served his tour in Germany. Started as a heavy weapons expert but was then selected by his commanding officer as his personal transportation Jeep driver. In this position, he was able to travel throughout Europe – big deal for a Boggy Boy!
A Remembrance of Gene’s Life will be held Friday, December 27thstarting at 1PM in the City of Niceville Community Center Reception Hall.
Gene’s life had rough times and wonderful times. As a child, he was chronically anemic and was even hit by a car once, so you might think he was weak. You would be WRONG! He was a star baseball and football player back in the 1960’s! Just ask anyone who attended Ruckel Junior High or Choctawhatchee High schools in the 60’s. Coaches sought him out to be on their teams. In his later adult years, his love of sports continued as he coached ladies’ and men’s softball teams in Niceville. Besides being a talented sportsman, a description of his life is not complete without talking about his amazing dancing ability. He LOVED to dance and so many ladies have commented to Debbie since his passing that he was their BEST dance partner ever. He could dance to ANY music and any style but he dearly loved the old Buck Dancing. He was never shy about his dancing and in fact, LOVED to be the center of attention. If the urge hit him, he’d jump up anywhere and “cut a rug”! At one Niceville football game at Fort Walton High School, the score was not looking so good but the music was really good. The selection “Cotton-Eyed Joe” blasted over the speakers and Gene got up in front of the entire stands and danced up and down. He got a standing ovation! He was 75 years old then and still had it!
Now let’s talk about Gene’s next loves – Debbie blessed him with two grandsons, Trevor and Travis. Gene followed all their activities – sports, musical and educational. A few examples … Trevor and Travis both played Niceville Little League baseball and Gene attended every game offering them $5 if they could get on base. As mentioned above, Gene also LOVED music and he loved watching Trevor play the trumpet in the Niceville Eagle Marching Band. After Trevor left for college in Orlando, Gene still had youngest grandson Travis in Niceville to watch. Last year, Gene never missed a football game watching Travis as Niceville kicker. Gene would get so excited and Debbie would try to tone him down a little on his bragging. If you sat near him in the stands, you were told all about it, loudly and proudly. Then this year, Travis decided to switch from football to try out for the Niceville Golf team and Gene was thrilled.
Besides his sports and grandchildren, he LOVED being out in nature, spending many hours hunting and fishing with his close friends. He and his friends had hunting dogs and together they built a Boggy Boys Hunting Club which was north of Highway 285 back in the 1960’s and 70’s. It was a special place where families gathered for fish fries, card games, and just any occasion. Gene’s lifelong friends gathered there and told all manner of tales but mostly formed deep friendships. Later in life, Gene bought a place in Bruce Florida [40 miles out] which suited his hunting and fishing lifestyle. Then in 2014, he got pneumonia and Debbie said “Daddy, you have to move back to Niceville. You’re too far away.” So he moved back to Niceville and transferred his part-time Destin Walmart gig to the Niceville store. He really enjoyed being back in town … he went to all the Choctaw and Niceville Classmate reunions and barbecues. He also was able to see family more often for holidays and spontaneous get-togethers. He was totally independent up until the very end. As his health began to decline, he adamantly said, “I’m fine y’all!” Debbie would still call him every day and drop by almost every day to be sure he was good.
He lived life his way and had a HUGE heart. He was loved by many and will be missed. Until we meet again in heaven.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Gene’s memory. He loved Boggy and he personally donated frequently to Disabled American Veterans. So, donations to the City of Niceville Fire Department Fund or to Disabled American Veterans would be appreciated.
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