Charles Eugene “Gene” Cain, 93, passed from this life on January 11, 2022 in West Liberty, Kentucky. He was born October 07, 1928 in Inez, Kentucky to Susanne Spears Cain and Charley Cain. Gene was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 68 years, Marita Ann Trayner Cain, his parents, his sister Holleen Cain Maher, brother-in-law James E. Maher and grandparents William Sherwan Spears, Mary Spence Spears, David Cain and Angaline Blankenship Cain. Gene is survived by his son, Charles David Cain (Staci), his grandson, Charles James “CJ” Cain (Alex) and granddaughter, Allyson Elizabeth Cain, all of Lexington, Kentucky. He is also survived by his loved and aggravating dog, Willie.
Gene grew up in the mining town of Inez, KY. His first hobbies included wandering the banks of Coldwater Creek, “borrowing” the tavern goers’ horses, and entertaining folks with his rifle, shooting cigarettes in two held by his most trusting (or foolish) friends. In high school Gene made a name for himself on the basketball court. He was named to the All-Region 15 team taking Inez to the 1946 "Sweet 16." He was most proud of his 1948 Inez Indians who ranked 1st in the state, but sadly fell short in the postseason. He was named honorable mention to the Courier Journal’s All-Kentucky High School Basketball Squad in 1948. Gene was known for utilizing all his allotted fouls in a game. After high school Gene attended school in Nashville, but the attractions of the big city proved to be a distraction to his studies, and the army came calling.
Gene was drafted into the US Army in July of 1951. He landed in Pusan with the 25th “Tropic Lightning” Division. Gene was a scout on the Pusan perimeter working out ahead of his company, often drawing fire and returning to warn his comrades. At one point during his time in Korea, Gene was wounded in his right thigh, hospitalized, and promptly returned to his company. Most of the 1 year, 11 months, and 7 days he served – were in combat. Gene rarely discussed Korea in detail, but described the lonely task of being a scout, “out there on your own between your friends and your enemy.”
Upon returning from Korea, Gene resumed his pursuit of Marita Trayner. They were soon married and remained married for 68 years, until her recent death. Marita encouraged Gene to finish his degree at Morehead State University. He finished school and began his teaching career in 1956 as the Industrial Arts Teacher at Morgan County High school. He was a very talented furniture builder and taught his students these skills. Those that may have lacked interest could have found themselves sanding a plank for the rest of the year, or a paddle, in which he was known for using.
During his time at Morgan County High School, Gene returned to the game of basketball, this time as a coach. He loved the game but he also took great enjoyment in seeing his players succeed in their lives off the court. As a member of the Kiwanis Club he managed the public swimming pool for many years in the 60s’ and 70s’, providing summer jobs to numerous “characters” over the years. He loved hunting quail and grouse and training bird dogs. Fishing and hunting outings with his friends Henry Allen, Paul Williams, Danny Williams, CK Stacy and Mug Hardin produced many tall tales.
Gene also took up the game of golf, and was a founding member of the Pleasant Valley Country Club. He shared the love of the game with his wife Marita, and his dear friends J.W. Pennington, Morris L. Peyton and many others. Gene and Marita, enjoyed many trips to Norris Lake, growing vegetables in their garden, and taking their dog Willie for car rides. They were avid Kentucky Wildcat fans, attended the West Liberty United Methodist Church, and cherished spending time with their grandchildren. They were a staple in their community, leaving behind many friends and loved ones who cherished them.
The family would like to thank Connie Peyton, Florence Prater, Phillis Potter, Eric Price, The Nickells, The Campbells, Kathy Prater, Jerry and Rusty Lindon, Carla Davis and all of those in the Riverside Drive community who have been of help to Gene and Marita.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the West Liberty United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 295, West Liberty, KY 41472, or Bluegrass Care Navigators, 57 Dennis Sandlin MD Cove, Hazard, KY 41701.
A memorial service will be Sunday, January 23,2022 at 2:00pm at the West Liberty United Methodist Church with Pastor Jamie Brunk. Visitation will be 1:00pm at the church.
Graveside services will be at Salyer Cemetery in West Liberty, KY, the date and time will be announced later. Herald & Stewart & Halsey Funeral Home, West Liberty,KY.