Gene Laningham '60 October 25, 2022 4:15 PM updated: October 25, 2022 4:33 PM
Gene Raymond Laningham
October 19, 1937 - October 18, 2022
Gene Raymond Laningham of Montgomery, Texas, went to heaven on Tuesday, October 18, 2022, after a lengthy illness. His passing came one day before his 85th birthday.
Born to Dee Harvey and Lula Mae Laningham in Wichita Falls, Texas, he graduated from Wichita Falls High School. During the summer of 1956, Gene met a beautiful girl named Teddy Marney at the Westmoreland Swimming Pool. Gene wasn’t a very good swimmer, but he tried his best to keep up with Teddy, who was. One day she took him to a lake to swim to a little island, and he almost drowned himself. She liked him anyway, and they began dating and fell in love. Teddy and Gene were married for 57 years, until her death in 2015.
Gene graduated from Texas A&M University in July, 1960 with a B.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He began his colorful and varied career in the electrical power industry, working for Gulf States Utilities in Beaumont and Lake Charles, and Dallas Power & Light in Dallas. Gene’s innate entrepreneurial spirit soon began to emerge as he joined two friends in creating CESCO, an industrial chemical cleaning business that later became part of Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI). While at CESCO, Gene obtained a patent related to the chemical cleaning of industrial heat exchangers. He later helped establish Serv-Rigs, a successful oilfield workover rig company. Gene thrived at creating and growing businesses for most of his career. He was most proud of the family business he created with Teddy, TFL Incorporated. TFL began as a small drapery and interior design company run by Teddy and her mother, Doris Marney, but it quickly grew into a very successful industrial supply and manufacturing business that has been in operations for over 45 years. Gene retired from TFL in January, 2006. Gene’s retirement years were spent with Teddy, designing and building their dream home, entertaining, cooking, and spending time with his family and grandchildren.
A generous teacher, Gene shared his technical knowledge, business acumen and invaluable people skills with his children and grandchildren which enabled them each to grow and prosper in ways they could not have imagined otherwise. However, Gene’s lasting legacy to his family will be his easy love for others and his cheerful friendliness towards people of all walks of life. This was especially true with the love he shared for his family. There was nothing in the world more important to Gene than Teddy, his children and their spouses, and his grandchildren. This was perhaps most evident in his undying, unwavering care for his beloved Teddy during her final years. His servant nature, his overwhelming generosity, and his way of always putting others first will be the things we remember most about Gene.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, his brother William Orval (Bill) Laningham and sister Katherine Ruth Miller. He leaves behind sisters Sylvia Louise McMullen, Elizabeth Ann Gonzales, and Deborah Dee Huffman. He is also survived by his daughter, Sheri Fawn Fisher and her husband Paul, son Emory Dee Laningham and his wife Julie; grandchildren Alycia Taylor, Angela Aprahamian, Russell Laningham, Rebecca Jenkins; and his five great-grandchildren Margo Taylor, Nolan Taylor, Caleb Aprahamian, Cecilia (Cece) Jenkins, and William Jenkins.
The family would like to express our special appreciation to the staff of Genesis Senior Care in Montgomery, especially Ebony Easley, for their devoted care and love extended to Gene during his time with them.
A private celebration of Gene’s life will be held for family and friends at a later date.