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A Century of Commerce

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Gene England (Eugene Knight England) was bornbrOct. 24, 1919, into a family that knew the privileges of work, service, andbrlove for each other.

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He grew up in Plain City, a small farming town inbra northern Utah, where his heart’s desire was to have a saddle. Horses were thebrpath to freedom, as well as a means of getting work done. While having a horsebrwas attractive, Gene’s greatest pleasure was riding in the truck with his dad.

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Gene’s father, Chester, gave farming a sincerebrtry, but decided instead to make his living hauling produce and anything elsebrhe could deliver in his truck. Gene loved school and had many friends, but hisbrfondest memories were riding in the truck with his father and brother Bill,brgoing from store to store, delivering potatoes to markets in Cache Valley whilebrdrinking a Birrell strawberry soda.

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Gene got an early sense of commerce—discoveringbrand delivering what people needed—and the satisfaction of getting goods to thebrright place, on time. Those early experiences sunk deep into Gene’s character.

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Gene served his country by enlisting in thebrUnited States Army in World War II and served in the Pacific, where he broughtbrhome a Bronze Star for bravery and acts of heroic service in the Battle ofbrOkinawa in 1945. He even found time to perform extra military duties, returningbrwith $5,000 he saved to buy a first Kenworth truck and trailer for the emergingbrfamily business.

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Gene attended college and tried out otherbremployment, but he always knew that he wanted to build a trucking business withbrhis dad and brother. It wasn’t easy to build a major interstate truckingbrcompany in an era of stiff competition and government regulations, but failurebrwas never an option for Gene. He gave the business his total commitment,brputting in as many hours as needed to make it successful.

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Having spent many hours loading and unloadingbrtrucks himself, as well as millions of miles behind the wheel of an 18-wheeler,brGene understood what it took to lead hundreds and later thousands of dedicatedbremployees and colleagues while heading the C.R. England company.

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While trucking was in Gene’s bones, his greatestbrsuccess was marrying June Daniels in 1940 and raising his family of six boys,brall of whom eventually worked with him.

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Gene maintained and passed on his values of trustbrand family solidarity while growing the business with his family. That trustbrand enjoyment has spread to thousands of employees and customers nationwide.brSons Jeff, Dan, Rod, Dean, Todd, and Corey have all followed in the industrybrtradition, and each one, like their father, found ways to innovate newbrprocesses and systems to improve delivery and safety for all involved.

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Now moving into the fourth and fifth generations,brGene’s descendants follow his path, with grandsons Chad, Josh, Zach and TJ atbrthe helm.

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Although Gene has experienced the pain ofbrloss—his beloved wife June, his son Rod, his brother Bill, and others—hebrcontinues to move forward, always with someplace to go and something tobraccomplish.

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Gene is not only a driver, but a builder. Whetherbrhe is building a family, a company, or a community, he makes the world a betterbrplace.

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“It’s important to surround yourself with goodbrpeople. It’s not about getting everything your way; it’s about working togetherbrto resolve problems for the greater good,” he said.

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Gene is comfortable with himself and with others.brIt is not unusual for another trucker to find Gene at a truck stop, crouchedbrunder his rig as he examines its undercarriage, and exclaim with some surprise,br“Hey, you’re Gene England, the man whose name is on the truck!”

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Gene has received many accolades and awards forbrhis service. He has been inducted into the University of Utah Business SchoolbrHall of Fame with his brother Bill, and has received many Congressional,brGovernor’s and industry awards.

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Gene has donated to many educational andbrcharitable organizations and has relentlessly continued to honor US veterans bybrproviding jobs and a path to providing for their families.

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After June’s death in 2009, Gene met and married DorothybrNielsen at the age of 92. Gene stays busy, continuing to build his life and thebrlives of those around him, including going to the office several days eachbrweek. Gene continues to roll along—100 years and still going strong. (Submittedbrto Serve Daily by David Allred.)

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