The obituary for WWE Hall of Famer “Mean” Gene Okerlund is now online from Dignity Memorial at this link.
The obituary notes that Okerlund passed away at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, FL on January 2, 2019. He was 76. Gene is survived by his wife, Jeanne, and their sons Todd (wife Patricia) and Tor (wife Dana), and grandchildren Henry, Arthur & Brady. His wife was at his side when he passed.
As noted before, Gene’s son Todd told TMZ that his father suffered a “nasty fall” back in December. The fall triggered a rapid decline in his health, which led to his passing. Okerlund had been in “frail health” but the fall made things much worse. He was admitted into a nursing home just four days before his death. Gene had trouble breathing last Wednesday morning and was rushed to the hospital. He passed away later that morning.
The obituary noted that Okerlund “had many friends in life and enjoyed spending time and socializing with them” and it talked about how he cherished his wife. The obit also talked about how Gene loved boating and spending time at his summer cabin on Big Sandy Lake in Northern Minnesota. It was also written that Gene “lived a very full and happy life.” They included the following on Gene’s pro wrestling career:
“Gene was driven to succeed and advanced his career by moving into selling advertising for WTCN TV in Golden Valley, MN in the early 1970s. It was at WTCN TV that Gene got his first break as a wrestling announcer when Vern Gagne of the AWA asked him to fill in for a missing announcer. His wrestling career grew from that point on. During his career as a wrestling announcer he also became a partner at Cohen Okerlund Smith Advertising in Minneapolis. Gene worked for the AWA until 1984 when he began working for World Wrestling Federation, which eventually became the WWE. Gene continued to work right up until he became ill. Gene recorded his last show in December of 2018. Gene was recognized for his contributions in creating the industry leading WWE with his induction into WWE’s Hall of Fame in 2006. He truly loved his career!”
A private service for the family will be held on Wednesday of this week in Sarasota. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Robert Toale & Sons Funeral Home at Palms Memorial Park in Sarasota. The family asks that people make donations to the PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) Foundation of Kansas City, in lieu of flowers.
A new WWE Network Collection on “Mean” Gene was scheduled to go live at 10am ET this morning, Tuesday.