Gene W. Puschel, 66, of Springfield died Wednesday, May 22, 2024 at St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, the same hospital where he was born on December 19, 1957 to Gene A. and Margaret (Riley) Puschel. He is survived by his son William Gene Puschel of Herndon, VA; daughter Katherine Margaret Puschel (Justin Perez) of New York City; sister Peggy Elizabeth (Tom) Luthy of Naperville, IL; brother William (Rachel) Puschel of Chesterfield, MO; brother-in-law Leslie Reitman of Denver, CO; seven nieces and nephews; and loving friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Joyce A. Reitman. He was his parents’ primary caregiver for many years, giving up numerous personal opportunities in order to care for them in the home that his father built in the Village of Jerome more than 70 years ago. Last year, Gene hosted a 100th birthday party for his mother, where four generations of the family celebrated together.

Gene attended George Washington University in Washington, DC, where he was an editor at the school newspaper and a member of Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. It was there that he met his future wife, Katherine R. Hutt. They married in 1984, bought a house in Vienna, VA to raise their family, and were amicably divorced in 2005. During the 27 years he lived in the Washington, DC area, he worked in technology sales for top news organizations Congressional Quarterly, Washington Post, UPI, Reuters, and Dow Jones, and volunteered for the presidential campaigns of Gary Hart and Al Gore. Although he moved back to Springfield, he frequently returned to DC and proudly supported his children’s theatrical pursuits and other activities.

Gene attended the University of Illinois at Springfield, where he graduated magna cum laude with a degree in history, his lifelong passion, and did research for Lincoln scholar and author Dr. Michael Burlingame. Gene then worked as a park ranger at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site, and as an historic interpreter at the Old State Capitol, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, and the Lincoln-Herndon Law Office. He became renowned for his in-depth knowledge of President Lincoln’s life and career, and he was a popular fixture at Springfield’s historic sites. At the time of his death, Gene was doing preliminary research for a tour based on the political career of President Obama, who was, like Lincoln, an Illinois State Legislator prior to being elected to the United States Senate. Gene had also recently been elected a Democratic Precinct Committeeperson for Woodside Township.

Gene was a consummate traveler who journeyed to close to twenty countries. Most memorably, he toured the then-Soviet Union for three weeks in 1981 with a group of professional geographers. When the tour ended, he ventured alone across the continent on the Tran Siberian Express, under the watchful eye of his own personal KGB escort! During a trip to Germany in 1990, he and Katherine helped tear down the Berlin Wall. His last trip was just a few months ago, to Ireland with friends from Darcy’s Pint in Springfield.

As a passionate and lifelong participant in organ donor programs, through his generosity Gene was able to help as many as 25 people experience the Gift of Hope.

Arrangements are being made by Staab Funeral Home in Springfield. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 6 at 11:00 a.m. the Church of the Transfiguration in New York City where his daughter and son-in-law attend. Gene loved visiting friends and family in New York, and admired the church’s role in the abolitionist movement as a stop on the Underground Railroad and as a sanctuary for African-Americans during the Draft Riots of the Civil War.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations in Gene’s name to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site or the Barack Obama Foundation to support its mission “to revive our trust in our culture of democracy and the spirit of active citizenship in communities across the globe.”

Share stories & photos at

©2024 All Content Obituary Systems


“Professional Responsibility” protects the daily obituary. and the Authorized Licensed Funeral Provider “Thank You for Helping.”


To the extent allowed under State law, the decedent’s name, image and likeness are protected under this State’s Right of Publicity laws and should not be reproduced, copied, distributed, republished, or otherwise displayed for commercial purposes unless specifically authorized.

© All Content Obituary SystemsTM, LLC

An Important Message

Certified Obituary ServicesSM, A Social EnterpriseSM, is a Sustainable, Interdependent & Effective Partnership among State, National & International Funeral Director Associations, Professional Affiliates, and Newspapers, Facilitated by your Local Funeral Home., a Quality Brand Service MarkSM, is active as a vital community service available only through your Local Funeral Home. 

Other Quality Brand Service MarksSM, pending development, will soon connect the Local Community with Caring Professionals.  

Active Development 
Community Service
Local ObituarySM

Pending Development
Community Service

Local CounselorSM
Asset ConfidentialSM
Please Find HerSM
Please Find HimSM
The Perpetual LightSM
Local Pet ObituarySM
Local Pet CounselorSM

My Newspaper DailySM
My Newspaper WeeklySM
Daily Flip NewspaperSM
Weekly Flip Newspaper

Pending Development
Funeral Provider Service

Your SEO AllySM
Obituary IT SupportSM