COBB COUNTY, Ga. — In a Channel 2 exclusive on Wednesday, a widow said she’s not letting the killing of her husband define his legacy.
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Gene Siller, a golf professional at Pinetree Country Club in Kennesaw, was one of three victims killed on the 10th hole on July 3.
Ashley Siller told Channel 2′s Chris Jose she’s focused on preserving her late husband’s passion.
“This is your first one-on-one sit-down interview. Why do this now?” Jose asked.
“When all of this happened, everyone was so fixated on what happened and how it happened and who did it and why,” responded Siller. “I refuse to let what happened define Gene’s legacy.”
Siller and her boys just returned from Ohio after spending Christmas with her late husband’s family.
“It kind of forces you to put that wall down that you build. It forces you to feel all those feelings that you inevitably try to push to the side, to proactively move forward,” Siller said about her visit. “The second that this happened, and I got past the initial shock, I knew I didn’t want to put all this energy into that. I knew that I wanted to put all of this energy into something that was really productive and really powerful and could impact as many people as possible.”
Siller partnered with the Georgia Professional Golfers’ Association to establish the Gene Siller Memorial Grant.
In August, a golf tournament in his name raised more than $200,000.
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“That type of turnout doesn’t just happen because people feel bad. That type of turnout comes as a testament to what an awesome human being Gene was,” Siller said.
Every dollar raised will benefit underprivileged kids who cannot afford to play golf.
“Gene just had this ability to connect with kids whether they were five or 15. He wanted to make them better. I think in life, but also just in golf,” Siller said. “My main mission in my life right now is to raise my two boys with Gene at the heart and center of everything we do and to make sure his legacy lives on forever.”
This month, Georgia PGA named Gene Siller professional of the year.
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To donate to the Gene Siller Memorial Grant, visit go.rallyup.com/georgiapgafoundation.
Ashley Siller told Jose that more information about the application and selection process will be released next spring.
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