Gena R. Portz
September 27, 1928 - March 08, 2020
Birthplace: Kenesaw, NE
Resided In: Red Oak, IA

Visitation 3/12/2020
Nelson-Boylan-LeRette Funeral Chapel
Service 3/13/2020
St. Mary's Catholic Church
Burial 3/13/2020
Evergreen Cemetery

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Gena Rose Portz, age 91, of Red Oak died Sunday, March 8, 2020, at the Montgomery County Memorial Hospital.

Gena Rose (Hawes) Portz was born on September 27, 1928 on a farm west of Kenesaw, Nebraska to John Leonard and Mary (Billesbach) Hawes, the fourth of five children. She graduated from Kenesaw High School in 1945 where she received her normal training. She was 17 when she started teaching in a small country school. She attended Kearney State Teachers College and graduated in 1948. On June 28, 1952 she was married to John Joseph ("Jack") Portz of Juniata, Nebraska.

Jack and Gena relocated several times throughout Nebraska and Iowa during Jack's career. In addition to being a full-time homemaker and mother, she also worked as an office administrator at the Iowa Highway Commission, Loomis Abstract, and Farm Credit Services once her children were in school.

Although Gena lived in Iowa (Storm Lake, Atlantic, and Red Oak) for six decades, she never lost her passion for the Nebraska Cornhuskers and could always be found near a TV or radio, dressed in red from head to toe, on football Saturdays.

Gena was a devout Catholic and volunteered many hours in service to her church in various capacities. She was a volunteer at the Lemon Tree hospital gift shop, a long-time member of P.E.O., and a lifelong avid bridge player.

Gena was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Jack; daughter-in-law, Lori Portz; sister, Marilyn Wiebe; brothers Wayne and Richard Hawes; sisters-in-law Anita and Maxine Hawes, Toni Billesbach, and Elaine Kral; brothers-in-law Alvin Wiebe, John Billesbach, Ken and Richard Portz, and Joseph Kral.

Gena's family was her great pride and joy, and she will be fondly remembered by them for her gracious hospitality, generous heart, steadfast faith, and love of fried chicken. She is survived by her four children and their spouses: Mike (Joyce) Portz of Red Oak; Kim (Dennis) Curtis of St. Charles, MO; Sally (Steve) Burk of Lawrence, KS; and Joel (Annette) Portz of Shawnee, KS. She is also survived by grandchildren: Tyler Curtis of Springfield, MO; Erin (Doug) Grom of Denver, CO; Chad Curtis of Minneapolis, MN; Katie Burk of Bloomington, IN; Maggie Burk of Ann Arbor, MI; and Brooke and Brady Portz of Shawnee, KS; step-grandchildren: Nick Smay and Jolynn (Kasey) Carlson; step-great grandchildren: Zoey and Taylor Carlson; brother: James Hawes of Hastings, NE; brothers-in-law: Robert (Deanna) Portz and Bill (Joyce) Portz; sisters-in-law: Phyllis Hawes, Lavonne Portz, and Ivy Portz; and many beloved relatives and friends.

Rosary will be 6:00 p.m. Thursday, March 12, 2020 at Nelson-Boylan-LeRette Funeral Chapel followed by visitation with the family until 8:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 a.m. Friday, March 13, 2020 at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Red Oak. Burial will be in the Evergreen Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to St. Mary's Catholic Church or Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Kenesaw, Nebraska.

Nelson-Boylan-LeRette Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.


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Nelson-Boylan-LeRette Funeral Chapel, Inc.
410 Sixth Street
Red Oak, Iowa 51566
Phone: (712) 623-2525 or
(800) 653-4881