Longtime Examiner staff member and editor and a lifelong community servant, Arthur Eugene “Gene” Marine passed away Saturday, May 29, at his apartment at Green Hills Community in West Liberty. He was 90 years old.
He is survived by his wife, the former Martha Lee Wortman, whom he married Dec. 23, 1951. They celebrated a COVID 69th anniversary last year. Survivors also include three children, Stephen (Barbara) of Cincinnati, Tom (Laura) of Indianapolis and LeAnn (Roger) Allman of Columbus; along with a number of grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other family members.
Mr. Marine’s long career at the Bellefontaine Examiner began as a paperboy in 1942, progressed to pouring molten lead “pigs” in the hot-type room in 1950, and then to reporter and sports editor intermittently from 1955 to 1975, at which time he became the managing editor until his retirement in 1990.
As editor in 1976, Mr. Marine oversaw the newsroom’s transition to a brand new building, the current location at 127 E. Chillicothe Ave.
“Gene was truly a newsman’s newsman,” said retired Examiner Editor Miriam Baier, who hired on as a newswriter in 1979. “He felt an obligation to the readers and was thoughtful of story choices and placement. He worked hard developing content.”
The newsroom of the ‘80s was very different from today’s, she recalled.
“It was not uncommon for a parade of Gene’s friends and acquaintances to make their ways through the front and back doors of the Examiner to the chair beside his desk where they would offer a news tip or two, or simply visit with him while he was working on that day’s paper. He always made time for them,” she added.
“He soon discovered I was fairly fluent in shorthand and willingly tossed the phone to me to take down story information, most of which came via telephone in those days,” Baier said. “His newsroom was always pleasant and it was fun when it could be. While I didn’t agree with his take on every storyline, I always respected his opinion. I am grateful he saw something in me I didn’t all those years ago and gave me a seat in the newsroom.”
Following his graduation from Bellefontaine High School in 1948, he continued his education at Syracuse University in New York for Russian studies and language. From 1951 to1955, he served with the U.S. Air Force, working as a translator and analyst at the National Security Agency in Ft. Meade, Md.
In 1988, Mr. Marine was the BHS commencement speaker, and during 1992, he was the winner of the Bellefontaine City School District’s “Outstanding Citizen Who Supports Our Schools” Award.
Mr. Marine also was inducted into the BHS Distinguished Alumni in 2014 and the BHS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2018.
His strong Christian faith led him to another role as well. He assisted at First Christian Church as a Sunday School teacher, deacon, elder and associate and interim pastor from 1956 to 1998.
He also served as a pastoral associate for church growth and member care at First United Presbyterian Church from 2000 to 2010, and worked as a chaplain for Green Hills Community and Tri-Care Hospice.
In a working life of 75 years, he held 27 jobs, often two or more concurrently, his family said. Among his positions included one of the first employees of the National Security Agency, a news reporter at WOHP, speech writer for the president of Taylor University, general manager of Ohio Readymix and a car salesman at Daring Chevrolet.
Eichholtz Daring & Sanford Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Bellefontaine, is handling the funeral arrangements with a celebration of life pending and to be announced at a later date.