Gene William Hubert, 51, died at Durham Regional Hospital in Durham, NC on Monday, March 6, 2006 following a brief illness. Gene was a computer programmer with Duke Technology Health Solutions at Duke Medical Center. He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Emil and Leona Hubert, and his maternal grandparents, Walter and Helen Petersen, and by his brother, Dwight Robert Hubert.
He is survived by his wife, Jenny Gray Hubert; his son, Macon John Hubert of Durham; by his father and mother, Robert and Marianne Hubert of Sturgeon, Missouri; his brother, Hoyt Hubert and wife, Tina Hubert; nephews, Justin and Logan Hubert, both of Madison, Missouri.
Gene was born on December 27, 1954 in Mexico, Missouri. He graduated from high school at the top of his class and was a member of the National Honor Society. He earned a masters degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Missouri and worked for a time in Overland Park, Kansas. Upon receiving an educational grant, he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio and studied toxicology for one year. He returned to Columbia, Missouri and worked in a laboratory at the University of Missouri Hospital where he became proficient in computer skills including the maintenance of hardware and the development of software. His skills in computer hardware and software programming were self-taught. Computer programming captured his imagination and subsequently provided a pathway to a new career.
While living in Columbia during the early 1980s, Gene began square dancing at Stevens College. Music and dance became an abiding interest and passion in his life. He taught himself to play a dulcimer that he built from a kit won in a public radio raffle. Several years later, he bought a used English concertina and taught himself how to play that instrument, noting that it was easier to carry around than the dulcimer! Later, he was introduced to contra dancing and became completely fascinated by the dance form. His understanding and appreciation of dance music and his delight in the social aspects of dance enabled him to write many dances. He was known in the dance community as the "king of flow" because his dances were so well designed. Gene published three volumes of what he called "Dizzy Dances," and dancers around the world have been and will continue to swing with joy for many years to come because of his extraordinary talent and the sheer number of dances (contras, squares, and mixers) he wrote. Gene also became a superlative caller, a role in dancing that is crucial to keeping the dancers working in harmony on the dance floor. He was much in demand in the Midwest, and later, after moving to North Carolina, on the East Coast. Gene was a careful, patient teacher and was always eager to introduce new dancers to dancing and to welcome them to the dance community.
As a dance organizer, Gene was instrumental in the development of Winston Salem's Fiddle and Bow Society's annual dance weekend, Feet Retreat. In 1986 he founded the Grange Dance in Greensboro by discovering the wonderful dance hall, providing a piano, calling the dances, and underwriting the first few years of the dance there. In 1991, Gene sojourned to New York City for a brief period and then accepted a professional position in Bethesda, Maryland. He danced and called in the DC area for a few years, returning to North Carolina in the mid 1990's. After moving to Durham, Gene became active with a weekly square dance group at the Durham Armory. Although he was a preeminent caller and choreographer, Gene's first love was simply dancing. In Durham, he took up yet another dance form, swing dance and met another love, Jenny Gray Glasson.
Gene and Jenny were married on October 28, 2000 and were blessed with a beautiful son, Macon John, on November 9, 2001. They made their home in Durham, NC. With his new family, Gene's attention became solely centered on providing a safe and beautiful spot for their time together. Over the last five years, he undertook many projects around the house and landscaped their garden with trees, shrubs, vegetables, berries, grapes, and flowers. In this lovely garden spot, his marriage and his young son grew.
Gene, a self-reliant, quiet, kind, modest, and gentle man, always welcomed challenge as an avenue for growth - intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. He was completely dedicated to his wife and son and was thrilled at being the father of Macon John. He had a wonderful, productive life and created a legacy of enduring joy for many people. Everyone who know and love Gene and Jenny brought loving support to the Hubert family in his last days. With this loving support Gene was able to continue to work productively and enjoy his home, garden, and family until his final days. His passing was peaceful and graceful.
A private memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. in Durham, NC on Friday, March 10, 2006.
The family is being assisted in Durham by Clements Funeral Service.
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