Eugene Ring, 90, passed away peacefully on October 27, 2013 in Avondale, Arizona following an extended illness. Gene was born January 27, 1923, in rural Monroe County near Ring’s Mill, Ohio, the oldest son of the late Herbert and Sarah Knowlton Ring. Following the death of his mother, Gene and his brothers, Herbert Jr. and Edgar, lived with their grandparents Daniel and Lillie Hill Knowlton until after their father married Lillie Briggs.
Gene graduated from Woodsfield High School and then proudly served in WWII. After enlisting in the Army Air Corps, he attended training in Wichita, Kansas, Lubbock, Texas, and Seattle Washington at Boeing on what was then the top secret B-29 Super fortress. Following training, he was assigned to the 20th Air Force 313th Bomb Wing and 504th Bomb Group as a mechanic on B-29’s. The bomb wing flew 147 missions, more than any other bomb wing of the 20th Air Force. Gene rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant and served in the South Pacific on Tinian Island. He also had a short assignment on Saipan as one of the mechanics on Gen. Curtis Lemay’s private B-29. While in the service he was awarded Bronze and Silver Stars, Good Conduct Medal, South Pacific Service Theater Medal. As Gene entered his later years he spoke often of his time on Tinian and “watching the Enola Gay and Bockscar come home”.
Following the war, he graduated from the University of Akron with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He retired from Goodyear after 35 years as a Design Development Engineer. In addition to designing and developing products for Ford, John Deere and Mack Trucks, he was responsible for numerous patents. He worked on NORAD, and with two other Goodyear specialists, designed and developed body armor first used in the Viet Nam conflict for helicopter pilots.
Gene is survived by his wife of 66 years, Eileen Heddleson Ring; daughter Robyn (David) Jacobs of Avondale, Arizona; grandson Cliff (Hannah) Jacobs of Litchfield Park, Arizona; granddaughter Erica (John) Modzelewski of Mesa, Arizona; great granddaughters Emily and Penelope Jacobs and Winifred Modzelewski; brother Paul (Marie) Ring of Woodsfield, Ohio; sister Rosa Lea (Doyle) Tatum of Columbus, Ohio; and many nieces and nephews who reside throughout the United States.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his son Randall Eugene “Randy” Ring, his mother Lillie Briggs Ring, and brothers Herbert Jr., Edgar, William, and Bernard.
Final interment with military honors will be at National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix, Arizona with private graveside services being held at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers at Gene’s request memorials may be sent in his memory for the on-going care of the grave of Sarah Knowlton Ring to the Low Gap Christian Church, c/o Janet Graham, 36075 Harmon Ridge, Graysville, OH 45734 or to Hospice of the Valley 1510 East Flower Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85014.Print Obituary & Condolences