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Memories & Candles

“I had the pleasure of playing with Gene in 1951 with Janesville Cubs. He was by far the fastest pitcher of the group, and one I can remember well...Read More »
1 of 23 | Posted by: Dwain Vanderhoof - Goleta,, CA

“My condolences on Gene's passing. It has been a pleasure to have known Gene and he will be missed and fondly remembered. ”
2 of 23 | Posted by: Jeff Moore - South Bend, IN

“I, like my sister Shannan, never got to meet Gene... I heard wonderful stories from our Dad about him and know what a terrific guy he was. I know...Read More »
3 of 23 | Posted by: Leslie - cousin

“We remember when Gene would come home late to a house full of teens playing cards & loud music. He would not get mad or upset like most parents. we...Read More »
4 of 23 | Posted by: Joe&Jennifer Puzynski - IN

“The Chandler's would like to extend our deepest condolences to all of Gene's family. He was a great man and truly cherished his children and...Read More »
5 of 23 | Posted by: sheila chandler - south bend, IN

“Sorry for your loss. ”
6 of 23 | Posted by: Maureen(Zrobek) Duncan

“My deepest condolensces. I had the pleasure of meeting Gene several years ago at Notre Dame through my brother-in-law, Doug Leyes, who also works at...Read More »
7 of 23 | Posted by: John Myrland - Indianapolis, IN

“Eileen, We were so sorry to hear of Gene's passing. My brother Larry from Atlanta called to tell us. Our hearts go out to you...Read More »
8 of 23 | Posted by: Ann (Snyder) & Bob Bargerhuff - IN

“We are so sorry about your grandpa, Michelle. We know you loved and cherished him and he was your biggest fan at your softball games! We love you! ...Read More »
9 of 23 | Posted by: John, Pam and Shelby Green

“Gene and Eileen have been wonderful neighbors to my sister, Anne, and her children. Gene will be missed by all. GO CUBS!! ”
10 of 23 | Posted by: Dianne Cebulski Peterson - FL

“Dear Eileen, Our hearts go out to you and your family at this very difficult time. You are in our thoughts and prayers. May all of the good times...Read More »
11 of 23 | Posted by: Dave & Betty Baim - Muncie, IN

“Well the ol' buzzard (said with love) would always ask me what i the heck i was doing at his house, and to go home, ---next came big hugs and of...Read More »
12 of 23 | Posted by: Jacquelyn (Sipocz) Bell - IN

“Gene was my " one of a kind" Brother in Law ! I will never forget your love and kindness when my Jerry was passing, you were my shoulder's to lean...Read More »
13 of 23 | Posted by: Vida Major - Burbank, CA

“My goodness, I am so saddened by Gene's passing. He was the sweetest person and so much fun to know and work with. My prayers go out to Eileen and...Read More »
14 of 23 | Posted by: Rebecca Eby - South Bend, IN

“Dear Auntie And Cousins, I will never forget the Thanksgiving,Christmas holidays and summer's spent with you all. I always look forward...Read More »
15 of 23 | Posted by: Kathy Major Massey - CA - niece

“Eileen, Sorry to hear of your lose. Gene was a great guy. I remember the good times we all had at Central, My thoughts and prayers are with you and...Read More »
16 of 23 | Posted by: Allen Kester - Sebring, FL

“To all of you, Gene was the most inspirational man I have ever known! I am blessed and privledged to have known him. The day he gave Mike his...Read More »
17 of 23 | Posted by: Stacy Heckaman

“My prayers are with all of you as you grieve thd passing of a great guy. Ned ”
18 of 23 | Posted by: NED SCHMITT - Madison, WI

“Gene was ahead of me at Central but everyone knew him and what a wonderful athlete he was.. he excelled in baseball.. He taught me how to play a...Read More »
19 of 23 | Posted by: Larry Giantomas - Mishawaka, IN

“I have never met Cousin Gene, however, I have spoken of him many, many times. Each Spring Training I discuss my cousin who played for the Cubs so...Read More »
20 of 23 | Posted by: Shannan Speicher - Third Cousin

“My thoughts and prayers go out to Eileen and the rest of the family on the loss of Gene. I will remember Gene when I think of the "Cubs" and...Read More »
21 of 23 | Posted by: Km Hudak Strong - Knoxville, TN

“I love you Pops and I miss you!Jaden misses you. You're the best person that I have ever met and I am so lucky to have become a part of your family....Read More »
22 of 23 | Posted by: Amir Ragab - South Bend, IN

“Gene was the kindest human being I ever met. I've never been so privileged as I was to be the neighbor of such a fine and humble man. Gene was a man...Read More »
23 of 23 | Posted by: Paul Zulas - South Bend, IN


Gene A. Fodge, 79, of South Bend, passed away Wednesday October 27, 2010 in Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, Mishawaka.

He was born July 9, 1931, in South Bend, to the late Francis and Ellen (Speicher) Fodge.

Gene "Pops" Fodge was a 1950 graduate of Central High School, lettering in baseball, basketball and tennis. It was there that he met the love of his life, Eileen Major.

Gene and Eileen were married in 1951 and that same year Gene signed to play professional baseball with the Chicago Cubs organization. He spent the next two years in the Marine Corps, where he played baseball, basketball and was the quarterback for the El toro football team.

After the Marines, Gene returned to the Cubs and was assigned to Des Moines, IA in the Western League. After two years Gene moved to California to play for the Los Angeles Angels, where they won the Penant. Gene went on to play in Memphis and Portland and in Ft. Worth Texas he earned his second Penant Championship. In April of 1958 he made his debut with the Chicago Cubs and hurled a one hitter against the LA Dodgers.

After Genes baseball career, he returned to South Bend to raise his family. Genes later years were spent going from one baseball park to the next, watching his grandkids play ball-"Pops" was a huge fan of the "Cubs," but a bigger fan of his grandkids-he would rush Eileen- "Hurry up or we'll miss the first pitch!" Although Pops never got to see the Cubbies win the World Series-he did ge to experience two grandkis make it there!

To quote a very special person, there are three things to live by "God, family and baseball" GO CUBBIES!

Along with his wife of 59 years, he is survived by three daughters, Scharm Young, Laurie Szucs and Stacy (Amir) Ragab; a son, Curtis Fodge, all of South Bend; 10 grandchildren, Rachael (Pat) Radtke, Michael, Scott, Jimmy and Michelle Szucs, Kirk (Courtney), Colin, Koryn Ullery, Jaden Ragab and Bridget Roger; three great-grandchildren, Ethan and Ryan Radtke and Liam Ullery; and by a cousin (whom he considered his sister) Gloria Cudney of South Bend.

He was preceded in death by a sister, Marilyn Wolf.

Mr. Fodge worked from the University of Notre Dame Morris Inn, retiring in 1996.

A memorial visitation will be held from 4 to 6:30 pm Monday November 1, 2010, in the Kaniewski Funeral Home, 3545 N. Bendix Drive, South Bend. Services will conclude at 6:30 pm in the funeral home.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Eastside Little League, 3450 Keller St., South Bend, IN 46635.

Funeral Home
Kaniewski Funeral Homes, Inc.
3545 N. Bendix Dr. South Bend, IN 46628
Tel. (574) 277-4444

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