Friends and family gathered at McDonald and Son Funeral Home on Sunday, July 11, to honor Eugene “Gene” Siller, a 46-year-old golf pro from Forsyth County who was killed at Pinetree Country Club in Kennesaw on Saturday, July 3.
Many have reached out to Siller’s family to offer support and condolences in the past week as the incident in Cobb County made national headlines. The PGA golf professional and Director of Golf at Pinetree Country Club was identified as one of three men found shot to death on the club’s golf course on McCollum Parkway near Kennesaw State University.
Investigators believe Siller was killed because he came across a “crime in progress” when he walked out onto the course that day to find out why an unfamiliar white truck sat near the 10th green. The two other men, identified as 46-year-old Henry Valdez of California and 76-year-old Paul Pierson of Kansas, were found in the bed of the truck.
Cobb County sheriff's deputies and U.S. Marshals arrested Bryan Rhoden, 23, on Thursday, July 8 in Chamblee, more than 25 miles southeast of where the slain men were discovered Saturday, Cobb County Police Chief Tim Cox said during a news conference last week.
Rhoden faces three counts of murder, three counts of aggravated assault and two counts of kidnapping.
Siller is survived by his wife, Ashley, and two young sons, ages 5 and 7. Friends and community members continue to contribute to a GoFundMe created to help Ashley and the kids during this difficult time. As of Monday afternoon, the community had raised more than $700,000 for the family.
Michelle and Ryan Joyce are longtime friends of Siller and his wife, and they both said they have been overwhelmed by the support the community has shown Ashley and their kids. Going forward, they hope they can help support her the same way she and Gene had supported them in the past.
Ryan said he and Siller have been friends for nearly 18 years, living just 10 minutes down the road from one another in Forsyth County. Both PGA professionals, they frequented the golf course together despite working at separate clubs.
“He lived in my neighborhood when I first moved here,” Ryan said. “I was in his wedding with Ashley and him, he’s been around my two kids and we [always tried] to spend time together. Being close by, he was always one to lend a hand when I needed something.”
Many of Siller’s other friends and family shared similar sentiments through this past week, sharing stories online and during the funeral Monday.
Before the service, family members asked that those looking to honor Siller do so by donating to the Gene Siller Memorial Grant created by the Georgia PGA. In memory of Siller, his life and his passion for junior golf, the grant will provide financial assistance to competitive junior golfers in need throughout the state.
Online donations can be made here: https://go.rallyup.com/georgiapgafoundation.
The family laid Siller to rest on Monday, July 12, after holding a funeral service at Dunwoody United Methodist Church. A celebration of life was planned at Pinetree Country Club after the service.
Many of Siller’s friends, family and colleagues from Pinetree and his previous golf clubs have expressed over the past week how much Siller meant to them and their communities, sharing that he has always been a wonderful father, husband, leader and coach.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.