Richard “Bear" Eugene Mcwhorter, husband to Martha Mcwhorter, passed away the morning of January 8th in the comfort of his own home with his loving daughter, son in law and adored pets by his side. He was 89 years old. Gene had a tough exterior but beneath it all was a kindness that knew no bounds. He was loved by his community, family and friends. His loss will be felt by many.
Gene was born on November 4th, 1932, to parents Roy and Mary Mcwhorter in Austin, Texas. He was born into a large family with 6 siblings, Mark, Alton, Bobby, Roy, Betty and Mary. Gene attended Itasca High School and graduated in 1953 before joining The United States Army. After serving his stint in the Army and being honorably discharged, he came back home to Hill County, Texas. He reconnected with a high school friend in 1970 and their friendship soon bloomed into a romance which would turn into a lifelong love. He married Martha Jiminson McCarty on April 24th, 1971. After, he chose to adopt her two children, Kevin “Bull” McCarty and Frances Steen. They would live a long life together as a family in Whitney, Texas. Gene and Martha were married for 50 years. Over the years, Gene would welcome a daughter in law, Gay and a son in law, Paul. Their family would go on to add 7 grandchildren, Michael, Kevin, Quinn, William, Robert, Samuel and Melodie, and several great grandchildren. Gene never let blood define his relationships. His and Martha’s love would allow them to add Shantelle, Trena, Heather, Justin, Cory, Andrea and so many more as family in their hearts.
In his life, Gene played many roles. He was a family man, a great neighbor, animal lover, fisherman, friend and so much more. Gene enjoyed hosting cook outs for his family, where he’d grill up his famous BBQ chicken and have the grandkids fighting over who got the last leg. He found peace sitting on the porch with Martha and watching his grandchildren play in their yard.
Gene would go out of his way to help an animal in need. Throughout his life, he’d bring home stray dogs and cats in need of help. He’d find them, fix them up and search for a home or keep them as his own. He loved piling his dogs into the car to “go for a ride” around the neighborhood. He’d drive real slow and meet his neighbors along the way. He had a friend on every corner whether they had two feet or four was always a surprise.
He loved being able to fish, spending quiet hours on the water or talking with his fishing buddy, Hank Lankford. Fishing was a joy he shared with many friends and family. If Gene went fishing with you, it meant he cared about you.
He learned to use Facebook in his retirement and kept in touch with many of his friends and family. He would get a kick out of all the humorous animal videos and loved to pass them along in hopes to share the laughter and a smile with his friends. He never missed an opportunity to reminisce about the past, uploading old photos and remembering good times.
Gene is survived by his wife, Martha Mcwhorter; his children, Kevin and Gay McCarty, Paul and Frances Steen, grandchildren, great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Gene and Martha have chosen to have a joint burial, but a memorial service will be held in his honor this spring. He has been cremated and awaits to be reunited with his partner in life before burial services will take place. Gene was great man, with an amazing sense of humor, filled with dignity, dedication to family and a love for his life. We ask that in his remembrance you carry this legacy into your own life and if you ever need to sit with him, it’s as easy as casting out your fishing line.
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