Milan Eugene Brickhouse

Milan Eugene Brickhouse, known to all as Gene passed away at 71 on May 16, 2021 in Bloomington, IL. He was preceded in death by his parents, Milan Whitesel Brickhouse and Emily Nicholson Bateman. Gene is survived by his wife Holly Presser Brickhouse of Bloomington and three children, Emily Becher and her husband Jon Becher; Gina Mandros and her husband David Mandros; and Michael Brickhouse and his fiancée Katie Ferris of Chicago, IL. His sister, Deanne Brickhouse Beckwith and her husband, Colonel Charles E. Beckwith Jr., U.S.A (Ret.) of Pawley’s Island, SC; and his nephew, Charles E. “Ched” Beckwith III of North Carolina. He has four grandchildren, whom he loved without end: Michael and Sophie Becher, and Jake and Dagny Mandros. Born in Beaufort County, North Carolina, Gene spent his formative years in a farming community, wrapped up in the boisterous and loving arms of the Bateman family. He excelled early in mathematics and the ability to find just the right amount of trouble to give his mother heart palpitations. While attending East Carolina University during the Vietnam War, he volunteered to serve in the United States Air Force, following the standard set by his father and uncle who served as Marines in WWII. When he returned home, Gene began a variety of jobs and his ingenuity as an electrician soon caught the notice of supervisors. He was quickly promoted to sales and rose through the ranks in the lumber and hardware business. Work took him and his family to Michigan, Texas, and various parts of Illinois. He was a “fixer,” crowning his career at True Value as manager of the entire paint division. Gene worked harder than anyone, not only at his job, but at building lasting, strong relationships with coworkers and employees. Gene entered many positions as “the boss” and left each as friend and mentor. He loved golf. He loved the Cubs. He loved tinkering about in the garage and growing huge crops of tomatoes. He loved his friends, his golfing buddies, his volunteer work. He loved his children, for whom he instilled two basic principles of life, that empathy, kindness, and generosity is deserved by all, and family isn’t just the people you’re related to, but the ones you gather about you, the ones you lean on in hard times, the ones you love for the people they are. Above all, Gene loved his wife, Holly. Their love for each other shined through in every interaction. Every look, every touch, every time Gene said, “hey, Holly girl”. Their marriage is the aspirational state, the home they created together will live on through Holly, and through their children and grandchildren. A funeral service will be held at Carmody-Flynn Funeral Home (Bloomington, IL) Saturday, May 22 at 1:00 pm. Friends and family are invited to an open house from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the family home. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that tribute gifts be made in Gene’s name to Folds of Honor. To express condolences or share memories, please visit