William Eugene "Gene" Hanner

June 24, 1929 ~ October 8, 2018 (age 89)

William Eugene "Gene"  Hanner, 89, of rural Brighton, IL passed away October 7, 2018 with his family by his side, under the care of BJC Hospice. Born June 24, 1929, in East Alton, IL. He was the son of  Roy Albert Hanner & Opal Sarah (Harrison) Hanner.  He married Betty Jean ( Carter) Hanner on July 3, 1949 in East Alton.They were married for 48 years before she passed away on December 20, 1997. They had 6 children. 
Surviving are Three Sons, Mike Hanner, Jim (Debby) Hanner, Kenny (Deb) Hanner all of Bunker Hill, IL, 13 grandchildren, 21 great grandchildren, 6 great-great grandchildren, a son-in-law, Bud Hancock, daughter in law, Dee Hanner along with several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Betty; three beloved children, John Hanner  Becky (Hanner) Hancock and Danny Hanner; grandson, Ryan Hanner; brother, Jerry Hanner; and a sister, Wanda Sickman.
Gene retired from Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant in Hazelwood, Mo in March 1980 after 30 years of service. He was a lifetime member of the UAW, Local 325. He belonged to the Masonic Lodge 151 in Bunker Hill and the Alton Eagle Aerie #1042. 
Gene was a popular racing driver in IL and MO. His career began in 1949. Known as "the Fosterburg Flash", he raced Jalopies, then super modified and sprint cars. He built and drove his own cars and also drove for other people. 
In 1958, he won a 100 lapper at Alton Speedway and a 150 lapper in Champaign. In 1964 he won 35 Feature Main Events with the Hanner-Lou Thery #69 super modified car. He raced in the LItchfield - Greenville circuit, Alton Speedway, St. Charles Speedway, Springfield Speedway and at Granite Tri-City Speedway, where he won the first ever feature race when the track opened in 1960. He was known for running a dual wheel and was one of the first to put a wing on top of his car. And you would always find Betty and the kids sitting in the bleachers, cheering, him on. 
Friends may call on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at  Kravanya Funeral Home in Bunker Hill from 4:00 pm until 7:00 pm.  Funeral services are Thursday, October 11, 2018 at 11:00 AM at Kravanya Funeral Home in Bunker Hill, IL with Rev. Patrick Thatcher officiating.  Burial will be at Woodburn Cemetery Woodburn, IL.  Memorials are suggested to Donor's Choice.  Anyone wishing to send an online condolence may do so at  Kravanya Funeral Home, Bunker Hill, IL  is in charge of the arrangements.

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