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March 17, 2015 • Headlines
Pick up the Osgood Journal at your local newsstand and read about murder charges,
20-year prison sentence, gun battle with police and other local news stories.

It was three years ago this month when an EF3 tornado struck the small town of Holton. Homes were destroyed and lives lost, all within the 38-second tornado. Eight homes have since been built with funding from a Lilly Endowment grant.
Makenzie Anderson, Maddy Thompson and Emma Miller play gator ball during PE [physical education] class at Milan. Their teacher, Paige Wade, is in the background.
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His hands are his eyes
Osgood man can’t see, but feels to create

Cathy May

Gene Snively has an interesting hobby for someone who is considered legally blind. He whittles. He makes creations out of wood. So far, he has made a merry-go-round and now he is working on a Ferris Wheel.

Gene and Lorraine Snively
Pictured left, Gene and Lorraine Snively show the Ferris wheel and carousel Gene made from wood.

Gene was born in Northeast Ohio in 1926. He is the eldest of five children, attended a one-room school house through his first eight years and walked a mile each way to get to school each day. He was such a small child that his mother held him back a year because she was afraid for him to walk that far by himself. He was drafted into the Army while he was in his senior year of high school and went into the service in January 1945 and would have graduated in May of that year.

When Gene was called up, he was underweight. They told him to go home and eat some bananas and come back. He didn’t have to go overseas because of his size and ended up as a First Cook for the Army. He was discharged in 1946, and when he returned home, he got his high school diploma.

Gene's father was a carpenter, and when he was about four years old, his father gave him four nails, a hammer and a block of wood. These tools influenced Gene to become a carpenter. He worked with his father for many years, and they built a lot of commercial property like Timkin Mercy Hospital in Canton, Ohio.

Gene was in the service with Charlie Ogden of Osgood. Charlie’s girlfriend, Helen Deller whom he later married, had a friend Lorraine Howell, and she met Gene through them. Lorraine was working at the Farm Bureau at the time. They corresponded for about a year and then married on July 11, 1947. After marriage, the couple moved to the Canton, Ohio area where they lived for 25 years. Gene had always wanted to live in Colorado; so, they moved to Colorado for 15 years.

By 1987 both Gene and Lorraine’s mothers were widows; so, they moved back to be closer to them. He retired early, and they lived on Base Line Road in Osgood. Then, about eight years ago, they moved to town and now live on East Fairgrounds. It was about four years ago when he began whittling as a hobby. He sits in his recliner each night and whittles. Gene says that he gets his love of crafts from his mother, who used to make Christmas ornaments from old cereal boxes. He makes a different project each winter. One year he made a duplicate of their Ohio farm. Although he suffers from macular degeneration and is legally blind he says, “It’s surprising what you can do with your fingers when you can’t see.

Lorraine and Gene have had a full life. They raised two sons, who married the two daughters of their friends Charlie and Helen Ogden. They also have four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. The Snively’s will be married 68 years in July. They attend Mud Pike Church and enjoy going to Buckeye Village at least once a week to have lunch at the SNAC Center. Gene has been chosen as one of the five veterans going on the Indy Honor Flight in April.

Pick up this week's edition of the Osgood Journal for the stories below and more local news. Subscribe by clicking the subscribe link or call 812-689-6364.

• Longtime Lions volunteer [Carter Everage] passes away (front page)
• Felon injured: Gun battle with ISP [Indiana State Police] (front page)
• Girlfriend gets 20 years for burglary role (front page)
• Local groups provide weekend meals (page 3)
• On The Record from the Ripley County Courthouse (page 8)
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