The Obit For Gene Deal

Eugene Edward Deal

Published in Charlotte Observer on July 13, 2010

Mr. Deal, 93, formerly of Charlotte, a loving, gentle man entered the arms of his Savior on July 10, 2010. He lived a simple life that by comparison may have seemed to be one lacking in wealth or position. However, he was the best husband, brother, neighbor and friend and most of all an example of what a Christian man should be to all he came in contact with.

He was born October 10, 1916, son of Otho Edward Deal and Mabel Eugenia Overcash Deal. He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Evelyn Smith Deal, July 8, 2005, and his brother, Wayne Wilson Deal. He lived with his loving sister and caregiver, Frances Deal Freeman, the last four years of his life beside of the home place where he grew up and was born. Gene loved his home in the country and always wanted to come back for the years he had left. The home place on Deal Road served as the local post office for many years. Gene had strong ties to Rowan County as his father, Otho Deal, along with good friend Lotan Corriher were two young men with a vision who went to Hickory, bought a small college, and brought it back home to become one of Salisbury's greatest treasures, Catawba College.

Gene loved life and loved his neighborhood of Lansing Drive in Charlotte. He enjoyed many afternoons mowing and talking to his good buddy Rodney Hutchison. Gene never met a sport he did not like but loved the sport of baseball the most.

Gene played for the Kannapolis Baseball Club in 1940, played for the Catawba Indians who won the 1936 North State Conference pennant. Gene also played for the Mooresville Moors and was offered a chance to play professional for the Atlanta Braves but decided to marry his sweet-heart Evelyn Deal and start his career.

His love of baseball never ended and Gene cleared a lot behind his Charlotte home building a small baseball field to help coach and mentor surrounding Lansing neighborhood children. The field became fondly known as "Deal Field.' One child in particular, Mike Fox went on to play for Chapel Hill and is now the head baseball coach for Chapel Hill, Gene's Alma Mater. Gene even at the young age of 93 went to see Mike coach Chapel Hill to a play-off victory at Durham Field just last year (he sat behind the dug-out of course).

Gene loved to travel with his wife Evelyn. Gene loved adventure telling of the time when he and Evelyn wanted to ride a rollercoaster, so they decided to travel to Coney Island and spend the weekend.

Gene graduated from Landis High School in 1933. He then graduated from Catawba College with a major in Education, English, History and Administration.

After serving in the Navy for two years, Gene then came home and furthered his education by receiving his Masters Degree in Social Work from UNC Chapel Hill. Gene began his teaching career Biscoe High School from 1935-1942 teaching social studies and coaching baseball, football and basketball.

From 1941 to 1944 he taught social studies and coached at Mt. Ulla High School and served as Athletic Director.

He and Evelyn settled in Charlotte and Gene began his social work and counseling career. He worked his way up from Probation Counselor to Chief Probation Counselor for the entire Mecklenburg County Juvenile System until his retirement.

Gene grew up at First Reformed Church in Landis and later joined St. Marks Lutheran Church of Charlotte. Upon his return back to Mooresville, Gene reunited with his home Church in Landis. Mr. Deal received the Certification of Appreciation from the American Red Cross.

He was a member of the Optimist baseball squad and Jr. Optimist work committee chairman, heading the Optimist Park Project. In 1984, he received the award of Charlotte Optimist Man of the Year.

He was a long-time member and served on the Board of Directors for the Charlotte Optimist Club. Gene and his wife Evelyn, were always supportive of Academic Scholarships for those in need at Queens University in Charlotte and Catawba College.

Survivors include his sister, Frances Deal Freeman of Mooresville; sisters-in-law, Helen Deal of Mooresville, Mildred Roberts (Ashley) of Lake Norman, and Lee Ballard (Jerry); and several nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews.

Services will be 3 p.m. with visitation 2 p.m., Wednesday at First Reformed Church, 210 N. Central Avenue, Landis. Memorials are requested to the Michael Williams Scholarship Fund, First Reformed Church, 210 N. Central Avenue, Landis, NC 28088.

The family extends a special thank you to Dr. Whalen of Mint Hill, Rowan Regional Hospice, Pastor David Franks and Richard Myers, all special angels to the family.