His loving wife of 65 years, Mary Francis Smith-Gustin, and their youngest son, Rex Gustin, both of Eureka Springs, were at his bedside to help him pass. They were soon joined by their oldest son, Julian Jay Gustin of David, Panama, who joined with other family members and friends to remember and celebrate the life of a man who was loved and cared for by many.
"Gene" Gustin, as he was known by his friends, was born Aug. 10, 1922 in Hooker, Okla., the son of Wheeler Amos Gustin and Agatha Ann Schaapveld-Gustin. Wheeler and Agatha had four sons: Amos, Wilbur, Eugene and Levene. They were an early farming family living and working on the western plains of Oklahoma. His parents and siblings all preceded him in death.
Eugene married Mary Frances Smith on Dec. 13, 1941. They completed 65 years of marriage and were a loving example for all to see. Shortly after their union in marriage, Gustin enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in WWII as an infantryman in Europe where he fought in the Battle of the Bulge.
When Gustin returned from WWII he could not have known he would spend all of the remaining days and nights of his life with his wife. This devoted couple were never apart except for one night when Gustin was hospitalized.
Shortly after his return from WWII, he and Frances were blessed with the birth of Gary Eugene Gustin, the first of three sons. Gary died as a young child.
The Gustins bought a farm and moved to Berryville in 1955. They stayed there until March 1966 when they bought their home and first retail business, The Razorback Gift Shop in Eureka Springs. They prospered and acquired multiple buildings and stores in Eureka Springs.
They eventually retired from business and traveled extensively all over the country in their motor home. Gustin was quick-witted and kind; he loved a good game of blackjack, fishing, a funny joke and a friendly smile.
As he has now completed his journey through life he leaves behind not only his family but many friends whose lives he deeply touched. He will be sadly missed but fondly remembered.
Other family members include: Bonnie Gustin; Heather Gustin; Marjorie Frances Gustin; Hillary Courtney Gustin; and Kathie Gustin; all of Eureka Springs.