Gene received his bachelor’s degree from Bates College, and his master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. He was a professor at Michigan State University in the College of Natural Science, Botany and Plant Pathology Department. He retired in 2009.
Gene was an avid family man. He loved his pets, drinking wine, and reading.
He is survived by his wife, Colleen O’Keefe-Safir; children, Joel, Gary, and Rory Safir; granddaughter, Alexis Safir; uncle, Sepp Safir; and his cousins.
His family would like to thank Diane Fuhr with Great Lakes Caring Hospice, along with Cindy Serrels-Ryan, Kim Ward and Satira Miles for their care and support over the last few years, as well as George Tiedgen with Seniors Helping Seniors.
Per Gene’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a private family memorial will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Brain Support Network, P.O. Box 7264, Menlo Park, CA 94026. www.brainsupportnetwork.org