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Obituary for Gene B. Figura

Gene B. Figura was born April 13, 1927 to John and Anna (Hanacek) Figura in St. Paul, Minnesota, the younger of two brothers. Gene graduated from Monroe High School in St. Paul in 1945. He was a sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Corps and worked as a sign artist during the last months of World War II.

In June 1951, Gene received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting and Illustration from the Minneapolis School of Art, which he was able to attend thanks to the G.I. Bill. It was there he met the love of his life, Adele Johnson. Gene and Adele married in October of 1951. Within a couple of years, they moved from St. Paul to Ames where Adele’s family resided.

In the mid-1950s, Gene began working at Collegiate Manufacturing Company in Ames. He became the head of the Art Department and designed the stuffed animals that were manufactured at Collegiate. Gene started inventing, starting with the tools that aided the work done in his department. Around 1967, Gene began looking into a new career in teaching at Iowa State University and worked on Masters Degrees to that end. He taught Art courses at ISU from 1968 until his retirement in 1993. During his retirement, Gene continued to create many drawn and painted works of art and invented tools to make his life easier. Gene loved his wife and family, art, and talking to people he met around town.

Gene passed away at 90 years of age on Monday, May 1, 2017 at Green Hills Health Care Center in Ames.

Gene is survived by his daughter, Lori (Craig) Evans; his brother-in-law, Don (Jan) Johnson; his nieces and nephews, Kristen (Harold) Beckham, Blaise (Elizabeth) Figura, Gregg (Lynn) Figura and Ann (Robert) Schwartz; and many, many cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Adele Figura; and his brother, C. John Figura.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Octagon Center For The Arts in Ames at See the link below.

Adams Funeral Home in Ames is assisting the family with arrangements.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Gene B. Figura, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Adams Funeral Home

502 Douglas Avenue
Ames, Iowa 50010





3:00 PM
Adams Funeral Home

502 Douglas Avenue
Ames, Iowa 50010





3:45 PM
Ames Municipal Cemetery

310 E 9th St.
Ames, IA IA 5001

Memorial Contribution

Octagon Center For The Arts


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