Gene Jonas, 70, of La Porte, passed away Sunday, May 3, 2020, at Morton Plant Hospital, Clearwater, Florida.
He was born July 20, 1949, in La Porte, Indiana to Calvin and Myrtle (Spencer) Jonas.
Gene graduated from Rolling Prairie High School and on August 10, 1968, he married his high school sweetheart, Deborah Schroeder. Together, Gene and Deb created Jonas Construction, building homes and remodeling throughout La Porte County, Indiana, St. Joseph County, and South Bend, Indiana. They were the developers of Hunters Run and Farmstead Developments. Building for Gene became a family affair, as his 3 sons became a part of the business, which eventually led to additional business, Rolling Prairie Excavating.
Gene loved what he did and was happiest when he had a hammer in his hand. There were no cutting corners on a Jonas home...it was done right or it wasn't done at all. He was very proud of each and every job, and this pride carried through to his sons. On his down-time, Gene often could be found working in his “woods”, acres of old-growth trees that he treated like his own back yard forest. He loved being outside.
After family, Gene's passion was his love for the community. He was past president of the La Porte County Builders Association, member of La Porte County Planning Commission, La Porte County Soil and Water Department, the Rolling Prairie Business and Community Association, licensed realtor and charter member of La Porte County Regional Sewer District.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, John (Pat) Miller.
He is survived by his wife, Deb; their three sons, Payge of Three Oaks, Michigan, Jamie (Krissy) and Andrew (Christal) both of La Porte; granddaughter, Abigail; and grandsons, Alex, Nathan, Nolan, and Corbin.
Gene is also survived by his brother, Gerald (Sue) Jonas of North Judson; and in-laws, Lou (Sandy) Lucas of Rolling Prairie, Michael (Elaine) Schroeder of Carrollton, Illinois, Dave (Becky) Dodd of Marco Island, Florida, Jeff (Nancy) Plante and Jim (Diana) Yerbey both of La Porte, Indiana.
A celebration of his life will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, July 11, 2020, at Lakeview Funeral Home & Crematory, 247 W. Johnson Rd., La Porte, (219) 362-3100 with Lou Lucas officiating. Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. until time of service Saturday at the funeral home. Burial will take place at Rolling Prairie Cemetery at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made in Gene's memory to Kankakee Twp. Fire Department, 3 Depot St., Rolling Prairie, Indiana 46371 or Reins of Life, 9375 W. 300 N., Michigan City, Indiana, 46360.