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AQHA Past President Gene Graves

AQHA Past President Gene Graves, 75, died June 14, 2013.

American Quarter Horse Association
June 14, 2013

AQHA Past President Gene Graves died June 14, 2013.

AQHA Immediate Past President Gene Graves died June 14.

AQHA Past President Gene Graves, 75, died June 14, 2013.

AQHA Immediate Past President Gene Graves died June 14. Gene had been battling pancreatic cancer for more than a year, which included his AQHA presidential term.

“Gene made the decision to continue with his presidency while undergoing treatment,” said AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway Jr. “He was an effective, thoughtful president, who never let illness get in the way of thinking about what was best for the American Quarter Horse and the American Quarter Horse Association. His death is a great loss for the industry, and on a personal note, I’ll miss him very much.”

Gene’s calm nature, show knowledge and concern for members guided him through terms of service on various AQHA committees and task forces.

“We need to make sure that members are involved and engaged with AQHA,” Gene told the AQHA Board of Directors after his election as AQHA president in March 2012. “Members need to have a voice in their Association and know they can provide feedback to the Association, including face-to-face with the AQHA Executive Committee and staff.”

Gene was born December 10, 1937, in Clarks, Nebraska. After earning an education degree from Midland College, he taught school and coached for several years. In 1963, he married Barbara Bosselman of Grand Island. Gene was a pharmaceutical sales representative before returning to teaching and coaching in Grand Island. He earned a master’s degree in counseling in 1969. Gene joined his father-in-law’s business in 1975 and retired in 1999.

Though they had ridden horses throughout their marriage, after Gene’s retirement, he and Barbara became more involved in showing horses, buying a ranch near Burwell, Nebraska, where they raised yearlings and learned to rope cattle. Gene later became a real estate broker and then became a licensed auctioneer. In 2006, Gene and Barbara bought Barranada Shirt Co. and began marketing the apparel to horse people.

Gene and Barbara attended the AQHA Select World Championship Show from its inception in 2003.

Gene was preceded in death by a son, Bryan, in 1991.

Survivors include his wife; a daughter, Cindy of Broken Bow, Nebraska, and her husband, Jim; and two grandchildren, Taylor and Samuel.

Funeral services will be June 18 at 11 a.m. at Fonner Park Bosselman Conference Center in Grand Island. Visitation will be held June 17 from 5-8 p.m.

Condolences can be sent to Barbara Graves at 1711 S. Stuhr Road, Grand Island, NE 68801-8114.

Donations in Gene's memory can be made to the American Quarter Horse Foundation by calling (806) 378-5029 or emailing foundation@aqha.org.

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