Age 73, of Minneapolis, formerly of Cedar Falls, IA, began his journey to the spirit world on November 4, 2022. He was preceded in death by his parents, Edna Sperring and Frank E. Walton, and nephew, Bill Hubbell. Also preceded in death by Cattail, Magpie, Atilla the Honey, Datsun, and Rennie. Gene is survived by his children, Brendan Kendrick-Walton (Suchanya Piyamaporn) and Molly Kendrick-Walton; grandchild Faye; siblings Carmen Hubbell and Fayeth Walton (Tom Furneaux); nieces Cindy (Bob) Hubbell Johnson and Eugenia Furneaux; nephews Eric (Teresa) Hubbell and Kirk (Katy) Hubbell. He is also survived by framily members, Rita-Faye Fisher, Greg, Monica, and children Sadie and Harmon Fisher, Bruce Cherveny, Smoke the cat and countless bandmates and friends.
Gene was a loyal and steadfast friend, and a beloved father, brother, uncle, and grandfather. He instilled in his children a deep love of music, and he was always a comforting and humorous presence, willing to indulge many wild ideas to their conclusion. Gene was deeply loved in the Twin Cities bluegrass community. He was a gifted luthier and musician. He led weekly beginner jam sessions at Homestead Pickin’ Parlor for many years and was a mentor to many. He was encouraging and patient and for that it would be difficult to measure the reach of his impact on so many aspiring musicians. It is known that quite a few new bands were formed from those jams. He himself was in more bands than can be counted, from Rusty Nash Ramblers and Pride of the Prairie, to a 25 year run with Bitter Ridge.
Gene also spent 24 years working at the MN Renaissance Festival and may have played a tune or two out there after hours. He was specifically requested by Photo Booth patrons year after year. A celebration of Gene’s life will be held at 1:00 PM Saturday, Nov. 19, at BRADSHAW, 3131 Minnehaha Ave., Minneapolis. Family and friends are encouraged to visit with an instrument, a cribbage board, or a story from 2:00-4:00 following the service. Light food and drink provided. Memorials preferred and may be made in Gene's memory to Augsburg University (http://www.augsburg.edu/giving/), Feline Rescue (https://felinerescue.org/), or a charity of your choice.