Eugene V. StowellEugene "Gene" V. Stowell, 85, of Cloquet, Minn., passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2012, at Essentia Health in Duluth, Minn., with his family by his side. He was born Aug. 19, 1926, in Browerville, Minn., to Clyde and Lila (Johnson) Stowell. He grew up on a small farm south of Brainerd, Minn., and attended a one-room schoolhouse through seventh grade. Because of his achievements, he was allowed to skip eighth grade and graduated from Brainerd High School in 1943 at the age of 16. He worked for Northern Pacific Railroad before enlisting in the Merchant Marines in 1944, serving his country until the end of World War II. He rented a truck to haul cattle and worked in a sporting goods store before becoming a meat cutter for National Tea Company in 1947. Gene enjoyed a 14-year career with National Tea managing meat departments in Brainerd, Appleton, Little Falls, Ironwood, Mich., and Duluth before moving to Minneapolis, Minn., to supervise 27 supermarkets, eventually being placed in charge of produce for 143 stores.