Friends blindsided by loss of Upstate veteran, father of four

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GREENWOOD CO., S.C. (WSPA) — Gene Ables always put smiles on others’ faces.

That’s how Dusty Free remembers him – hilarious, high spirited and cracking jokes. Free said the father also took care of others.

Friends since 2001, they served together in the National Guard and were stationed in Iraq in 2005 – 2006.

Friends say Gene went to the hospital with a headache.

Free said everything happened so suddenly. Loved ones were blindsided by news he had a brain tumor and turn of events.

Gene had a seizure over the weekend and was placed on life support, Free said. He passed away Monday.

Ables would have celebrated his 35th birthday next month. He leaves behind a wife, Serena, and four children ages 6 to 14.

Rachel Watts created a Gofundme page to help the family. Watts tells 7News that Gene’s military family is supporting their fallen brother’s wife and children.

“Gene was an OIF/OEF War Veteran who served his country honorably from 1999-2011… We are asking for help with medical bills, funeral expenses, and anything else his family may need to get through their tremendous loss,” according to the Gofundme page.

Their goal is $10,000. As of 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, they have raised $4,025.

Free said donations including gift cards and Christmas presents are being collected at the National Guard Armory in Hodges.

The armory mailing address is 6918 Highway 25 N, Hodges, S.C. 29653. Donations can be sent to the attention of the Ables family.

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