Life Story / Obituary
Dad (Gene) strongly felt that no one should become sick with Covid from his funeral and burial. So, please if you are concerned about the possibility of catching Covid do not come to the funeral or burial. (Dad probably would not have come to anyone's funeral during this pandemic.) If you have possible Covid symptoms or may have been exposed to someone with Covid show your deep love for Dad by not coming to the funeral or burial. Let this celebration of Dad's life be a safe one.
We selected this funeral home, in part, because of its Covid procedures. First, there will only be Dad's funeral at the funeral home on Monday, August 24, 2020 (there are no other funeral's scheduled on Monday). So only family and friends of Dad will be on premises limiting exposure from others. Additionally, everyone will be wearing masks and maintaining social distance. Inside the funeral home a limit of 10 persons per room (socially distanced) will be allowed. Visiting Dad will be in one room, a pictorial life history of Dad will be in a second room, and a video will be in a third room. The funeral home staff will manage movement from room to room.
We have limited any services for Dad to a short outside service at Dad's grave at Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery. There will be no church mass or any services at this funeral home.
Because of increased risks when masks are removed, we will not be serving any food or drinks at the funeral home or the cemetery (so if you might be hungry or thirsty please bring food or drink with you which you can eat or drink in your car).
Please sign into the signature book so we will have a record of everyone who came to the funeral. We will have individual pens which you can use and then discard them into a nearby basket (or maybe just bring your own pen).
The burial is at Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery. For safety and for time-management we will not have a procession from the funeral home to the cemetery. Everyone will individually drive to Holy Sepulchre (maps from the funeral home to the cemetery will be given out at the funeral home). Please arrive at Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery between 1:40PM and 2:00PM and a guide will be near the front gate directing cars for Eugene Topping's burial to line up for a procession from the front gate.
At 2:00PM the procession of cars will move to Dad's grave for a short service and his burial in Section 72.
Please stay safe. For everyone (those who come and those who do not come) thank you for your love for Dad and in our hearts let us celebrate the wonderful, long life he lived!
Dad's children: Paul, Karen, Bill, Kathy and Daniel.
Eugene (Gene) Topping died August 18, 2020 at the age of 95. He was born September 28, 1924 in St. Louis, Missouri to Arthur and Jane Topping. Gene attended St. Mary's Redford Elementary School and at the age of 14 attended Henry Ford Trade School (1938 to 1942). After he turned 18, he voluntarily enlisted in the Navy in 1942 and stayed in the Navy through and after World War II. His experiences in the Navy included working on a supply ship, maintenance of an airfield on Guadalcanal (arriving in 1943 after the battle of Guadalcanal), repairing hydraulics on PT boats, and working on numerous ships including on a mine sweeper between Japan, Korea and China, achieving Machinist Mate, 2nd Class. He also spent several weeks in a hospital after a boat engine slipped leaving a six-inch cut on his thigh.
After the war he came back to Michigan and began working as a skilled tradesman (primarily hydraulics) at Ford Motor Company. In 1950 he married Mary Cullen and they subsequently had five children (Paul, Karen, Bill, Kathy, and Daniel). After 40 years with Ford Motor Company he retired, but soon thereafter in 1992 he lost his wife, Mary. He has lived at his home for 66 years, and during the last 14 years he has lived with his daughter Kathy who wonderfully served as his care giver. He enjoyed the company of all his children and grandchildren there.
Gene loved to travel, eventually seeing all 50 states. He particularly liked his van trip to Alaska and his trips with his wife Mary to Hawaii and Europe. Family vacations were special. Among the long trips were visits to Seattle and New York World’s fairs. The family traveled in a long station wagon with a car top carrier, pulling a small camping tent trailer.
He was extremely talented and mechanically inclined taking apart and fixing cars, radios, a sewing machine and other electronic devices. He did not like reading instruction manuals and didn't worry about extra parts when he was finished.
He was a giving and loving husband, father, son and friend.
Beloved husband of Mary Catherine (decd.). Loving father of Paul (Patricia) Topping, Karen (Dennis) Barlow, Bill (Christina) Topping, Kathleen LaBranche, and Daniel Topping. Dearest grandfather of Katherine, Lauren, Jane, Peter, Stephanie, Steven (decd.), Eric, Angela, Crystal, and Ryan. Dear great-grandfather of Kiera, Rory, Xavier, Lilah, Thomas, and Ethan. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews. Gene was predeceased by his parents; his siblings Art (Mildred) Topping and Robert Topping; and his brothers and sisters-in-law Donald (Kathleen) Cullen, John (Peggy) Cullen, and George (Isabelle) Cullen.
Visitation Monday, August 24, 2020 from 11am – 1 pm. A short service will be performed at 2PM at the grave site at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield, Michigan. No Flowers Please. Memorial contributions may be directed to a charity of your choice.