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Published: Sunday, 10/9/2005

Public service hallmark of Findlay banker

FINDLAY - Eugene G. "Gene" Lab, Sr., a retired banker, a former longtime city treasurer, and a community activist, died Friday in his residence here. He was 83.

The family did not know the cause of death.

"He could best be described as a kind and gentle man whose hallmarks were honesty and integrity," his son, Charles E. Lab, said. "Those are the values that carried him through nearly 20 years of public service and nearly 40 years with the same employer."

Mr. Lab, an active member of the Republican Party, was Findlay's city treasurer from 1956 through 1974 and, at different times, was treasurer of Lincoln School PTA, Donnell Junior High PTA, Hancock County Young Republicans, Findlay Jaycees, and several banking groups, all in Findlay.

Mr. Lab, a graduate of the former Tiffin Business School, was a past president of the American Institute of Banking Lima Chapter, and past president of the West Central Ohio Chapter of the Bank Administration Institute.

Mr. Lab, a Litchfield, native, graduated from Carey, Ohio, High School in 1940 and two years later enlisted in the Navy.

He served in the South Pacific until 1945, when he was honorably discharged and settled in Findlay.

In the late 1940s, Mr. Lab was an accountant and office manager for a Findlay appliance sales company until he became a cashier at the former First National Bank of Findlay in 1949.

He rose through the ranks to become vice president and comptroller.

He retired in 1985.

In retirement, Mr. Lab enjoyed his club activities, visiting his children and grandchildren, traveling to California, gardening, and golfing.

Mr. Lab was a member of First Evangelical Lutheran Church in Findlay for over 50 years, during which time he was a member of the church council, a Sunday school teacher, chairman of the finance committee, building fund treasurer, president of Luther Club, and a lector.

Recently, he attended St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church, also in Findlay.

His other memberships included Carey Lodge 470, F&AM; Findlay Chapter 58, RAM; Findlay Council 50, R&SM, the Findlay Country Club, Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks Lodge 75, Findlay.

He was a former member of the Findlay Rotary Club.

Surviving are his wife of 61 years, Estella Evelyn Lab; sons, Eugene G. Lab, Jr. and Charles E. Lab; daughter, Barbara E. Lab Elkin; brother, Richard L. Lab; five grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

Services will be at 2 p.m. tomorrow in the Kirkpatrick-Behnke Funeral Home, Findlay, where visitation will be after 2 p.m. today. The family suggests tributes to the charity of the donor's choice.



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