In Loving Memory of Gene Whitten-Legé
Gene Whitten-Legé a 50+ year resident of Houston, Tx was born Eugene Legé in Abbeville, La. and passed away on 02/21/21 at the age of 82 in Texas City. Bradshaw Carter funeral home in Houston, Tx. provided cremation services. Memorial and burial services will be announced later in the year.
He was the active CEO and co-founder of In-Home Attendant Services. He was successfully moving into remission with Leukemia until Covid attacked on multiple fronts. From the hospital, he checked on business every morning. The day before his death he was in good spirits and was on a visual call with his wife and business partner Pat, 3 of his sons Gene Jr., David, and Jon, daughter Joan, and granddaughter Jacqueline.
He was the 11th of 12 children in a blended family that moved from Louisiana to Port Arthur, Tx. Speaking only French, he entered Kindergarten. After T.J. High School, he served as a Navy photographer in Europe, and earned a MSSW from UT Austin after getting his BA from Lamar University while working in the chemistry lab at Pure Oil and as a photolithographer with the Port Arthur News.
As a Licensed and Certified Social Worker, he provided a life time of leadership in policy and program development, advocacy, and multiagency initiatives while serving in positions with the state of Texas, Catholic Charities, and home health agencies. As Executive Director of Harris County Child Welfare, he led the agency to national certification and established several innovative children’s services. He piloted the first Consumer Directed self-direction initiative in Texas for people with disabilities and served on the first State CDS Workgroup to establish and expand consumer direction. He was active on several Boards, Advisory groups and committees.
Many who knew him can say, “He believed in me and challenged me to be my best self.”
He was passionate in all that he did and never hesitated to speak his mind. He filled a room with energy and piercing blue eyes. He was a seeker of knowledge, a philosopher, and advocate. He was a talker, a bit of a rebel and tinkered with everything. Computerization provided a whole new realm to learn and tinker. He loved getting to know people and seeing people grow.
He is survived by his wife of 43 years Pat Whitten-Legé, their son Jon Whitten-Legé and wife Reyna, and 4 children from a previous marriage to Margaret Chelette: Gene Legé, Jr., David Legé, Joan Legé-Krebs and husband Joseph, and Joey Legé and wife Cynthia. Other survivors include: brother Gilbert J. Legé of Groves, Tx, grandchildren: Julia, Veronique, Zachary, Jacqueline, Anna, Mychal, Shyara, and Patrick pending a June birth, numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and work family and friends. Gene was preceded in death by his 2nd son Rudy Legé, a talented Austin musician, his father and mother Rudolph and Olite Legé, sisters Eva Legé Brown, and Pearl Legé Trosclair, brother Rudolph Legé, Jr. and siblings in his blended family: Lionel, Verna, and C.B.“Shelby” Marceaux and J. Nedley, Mazie, Mable, and John Irvin Legé.
A member of Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston, Gene’s heritage was Baptist and Catholic. He possessed a strong reverence for the writings of Teilhard de Chardin.
The family thanks all of you of all faiths for your prayers and offerings. In remembrance of Gene’s life, the family asks that any charitable donations be made to one of the following charities or a charity nearest to your heart.
The Acadian Memorial in St. Martinville, La. https://acadianmemorial.org/
Coalition of Texans with Disabilities https://www.txdisabilities.org/
Parent to Parent of Texas https://www.txp2p.org/
SIMS Foundation for Austin musicians https://simsfoundation.org/about-us/
Epilepsy Foundation epilepsy.com