Mr. Eugene Macon Broome, Sr.

  • Born: July 7, 1935
  • Died: August 8, 2009
  • Location: Irmo, South Carolina

Dunbar Funerals and Cremations

3926 Devine Street
Columbia, SC 29205
Tel. (803) 771-7990

Tribute & Message From The Family

IRMO - Mr. Eugene (Gene) M. Broome, Sr. passed away on August 8, 2009. He was born in Columbia on July 7, 1935 to the late Arthur Macon Broome and the late Mrs. Rosa Lee Neal Broome.
Services will be held Wednesday, August 12, 2009 at 1:00 p.m. at Friend Church, 411-B Western Lane, Irmo S.C. with burial following at Elmwood Park Cemetery. Visitation will be Tuesday, August 11, 2009 from 7:00-9:00 pm at Dunbar Funeral Home, Dutch Fork Chapel, 7600 Woodrow Street, Irmo. Memorials may be made to Friend Church, or to a charity of choice.
He was a 1954 graduate of Dreher High School and joined the U.S Army at 18 years of age as a Private. He graduated from Officer Candidate School and Airborne School before the age of 21. While in the US Army, he served in the “Old Guard”, President Eisenhower’s Honor Guard and was featured in ‘Army Times’. Mr. Broome left the military in 1956 as a 1st Lieutenant.
By 1962, he was the largest independent restaurant owner in South Carolina and known for having started numerous favorites, such as: Bar-B-Q Pit, Blackbeard’s Seafood Galley, Frank-n-Stein, Gene’s Pig’n’Chick, Gene’s 15c Hamburgers, Jaws Seafood, Po Gene’s Seafood, and Ponderosa Steak Barn. He served locally and nationally, both as President and on the Board of Directors for various professional and restaurant associations. His most rewarding work was his charity work in organizations as Buc-A-Cup, the Jaycees, helping to start four churches and his work with The Boy Scouts of America.
Mr. Broome founded four national franchises; Mr. B’s Western Steak House, Frank-N- Stein (Hot Dogs and Beer), The Ponderosa Steak Barn, and Yogi Bear’s Honey Fried Chicken. His businesses included diverse entities such as American Homes, Canada Dry Ginger Ale, The Capital Cabana Hotel, ERA-Gene Broome Realty, Inc., Shull Sausage Company, and Tru-Green-Chem Lawn. He was associated with Florafax International when they started the Miss Teenage America contest.
In 1971, Florida State University and the Florida State Restaurant Association presented Mr. Broome with the “Salut Aux Restaurateur” Award. He was presented the award for his “extraordinary services and inspired leadership which advanced the standards for public hospitality and commanded a new respect for a time honored profession.”
In 1998, Mr. Broome finally retired - for the third and final time. He remained active as a motivational speaker on the topic, “I Lived the American Dream”, guest lecturer at USC School of Business and spending his time in service to his church, Friend Church. Of all his numerous accomplishments and awards, second only to his five children, he was most proud of his involvement in Friend Church.
Surviving is his beloved wife of 36 years, Donnis T. Broome of the home. He often said “Donnis is a gift from God that made me the happiest man on earth.” He is also survived by three daughters and two sons: Elizabeth Leigh (Jeanie) B. Newell (Clifford) of Columbia, SC; Eugene M. (Butch) Broome, Jr. (Sherri) of Richmond Hill, GA; Donna B. Bailey (Edward) of Lexington, SC; Heather B. Crater (Steve) of Irmo, SC; and James S. (Jimmy) Dawson, IV (Erin) of Mechanicsville, VA. Also surviving are nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. He was pre-deceased by two sisters and three brothers.
The family would like to extend heartfelt thanks and appreciation to his doctors and staff of Heartland Hospice House of the Midlands for the exceptional loving care and friendship during his illness.
Please sign online guest book at

Condolence & Memory Journal

Hi to all,
I have just learned of Gene's passing and want to say I am saddened by this news. I knew Gene's name before I ever met him, so when he came to Arthur Murray Dance Studio, I became one of his teachers. He was fun and made teaching him really interesting. He was a character above all and I can see him doing his Showcase Cha-Cha with was hold on time! He loved the Cha-Cha and other dances and made them his own. Too, years later, I would see Gene at the YMCA and he was witty and had something funny to say each time. Tom and I hope all the memories will sustain you all during this time. Love to all!

Posted by Suzie Chaplin Wattenbarger - West Columbia, SC   August 17, 2009

Dear Family,
The service today was very moving. Since I have been attending Friend Church from its 2nd Sunday meeting at Dutch Fork High School (over 10 years ago), Gene was someone I saw on a regular basis. There were many times when he stopped to chat with me, compliment me, and thank me for my involvement in the music ministry. I learned many things about him today and was awestruck when hearing testimonies of his dedication to family and to the Lord. I pray that during the coming days you will be comforted in knowing that he touched many, many lives at Friend Church.
Donnis - My prayers are especially with you as I saw you by his side constantly throughout the years. May God hold you and comfort you during this time of mourning.

Sincerely and in His Love,
Kathy Tetreault
(keyboardist / vocalist at Friend Church)

Posted by Kathy Tetreault - Columbia, SC   August 13, 2009

My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time...

Posted by - Chapin, SC   August 12, 2009

To Donnis and children - You are so fortunate to be able to hold in your hearts forever the grace that Uncle Gene carried and shared with you, his loved ones. Hear his voice of wisdom and see his kind smile in these days when you need it the most. Cherish and be comforted that he was yours. Love, Kim

Posted by Kim Nickerson Leone - Lake Worth, FL   August 12, 2009

Dearest Donnis & family,We had heard that Gene was @ the hospice, but did not know of his passing until Wed.lunchtime. We all send our condolences to you & the family. Please do not hesitate to call(803-873-2783) if you need ANYTHING ! Love, Ellen & Family

Posted by Ellender(Ellen) broome Melbourne - Lexington, SC   August 12, 2009

Jean Ann and I send our deepest sympathy Donnis. He was a wonderful Dreherite and classmate for me. Do come to the next Dreher Supper. We have hugs for you!

Many blessings - David & Jean Ann

Posted by DAVID & JEAN ANN SUGGS - Blythewood, SC   August 12, 2009

Thinking of all of you. Its hard I know , its been three years this week since we lost daddy. I know it has been forever but I always thought of uncle gene as still my "Uncle Gene". And Donnis just try to stay strong. With love, Pam

Posted by Pam Watson - Ft Mitchell, AL   August 12, 2009

Tuck and roll

Posted by Bob Berry - Richmond Hill, GA   August 12, 2009

i'm sadden to hear of gene's passing, our families were close, and had many good and fun times prayers go out to all the family during this sad time.

Posted by jeff hartman - cola,, SC   August 11, 2009

Donnis and Jimmy, I was so sad to hear about Gene. He was such a special man, and I looked up to him so much. He was just so, well, Gene! :-)

Some of my happiest memories took place at your house, with your family, and I will cherish them always.

He inspired me more than he ever knew -- as an entrepreneur, as a lover of life, as a husband, as a father, and as a man. I truly adored him, as I know you did.

My thoughts are prayers are with you.

Posted by Ashley Hayes    August 11, 2009

All of you are in my thoughts and prayers. God Bless! He was a wonderful man and father.

Posted by Cathy Settle - Columbia, SC   August 11, 2009

Donnis, We were so sorry to read that Gene had passed out of this world, we didn't realize that he had gotten worse. We will keep you in our prayers. Be sure to call us after the services and initial shock time has expired. We love you. Bob & Janet

Posted by Bob & Janet Davis - Irmo, SC   August 11, 2009

I worked for Mr Broome as the Day Manager of the Ponderosa Steak House in Trenholm Plaze many years ago. He was a good man and I offer my prayers for him and the family.

Posted by Emmy Hayes - Columbia, SC   August 11, 2009

Jeannie and family, Andy and I are so sorry for the loss of your father.

Christa and Andy Syrett

Posted by Christa and Andy Syrett - Lexington, SC   August 11, 2009

Truly miss you asa good friend, so sorry that I failed to stay in touch...may God be with you..

Posted by Ramon Wallen - Mishawaka, IN   August 11, 2009

My blessing and peace to the family and Jeanie, I love you and am thinking of you

Posted by Barbara Craig - Columbia, SC   August 11, 2009

I had the honor and priveledge of working and learning from Gene.

Donnis and Family, I am so sorry for your loss and I will never forget the time that I spent with Gene and and all of you those many years ago.

God Bless and keep all of you.

Phil and Cathy

Posted by Phil Ardis - Auburntown, TN   August 11, 2009

What fond memories I have of Mr. B. He was my first real employer, and was so patient as I learned the ropes. As his secretary during the 1970's (at Gene Broome Enterprises, Inc., on Bush River Road) I felt like part of his family for a short while. I'll never forget his wonderful sense of humor, his energy, and his caring spirit. I am saddened by his passing, but I don't doubt for a minute that he lived to the fullest. What an original. I was privileged to know him. Marla Quattlebaum Jameson

Posted by Marla Quattlebaum Jameson - Blackville, SC   August 11, 2009

My deepest sympathy goes out to Jeanie and her family. What a lovely obituary that was in The State paper today, I think it is the best I have ever read. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you now, during this sad time. Much love to you always, Joni and Karen

Posted by Joan Barwick    August 11, 2009

I first recall seeing Gene in the 50's when he made me one of his $0.15 hamburgers on Harden Street in Five Points. In later years I came to know him as a business contact when he first formed Gene Broome Systems, Inc. This man must have touched many lives as revealed by reading some of the condolences.
For your family, I offer this:
The clock of life is wound but once,
And no man has the power,
To know just when the clock will stop,
At late or early hour.
So live your life, as best you can
Love. work, serve with a will.
Place no faith in tomorrow,
For the clock may then be still
RIP Gene

Posted by Buford (Mac) McDonald - Palm Coast, DE   August 10, 2009

We enjoyed being your neighbor in Coldstream from 1974 to 1978 and also being your friends and enjoyed eating at your restuaraunts. Donnis and I enjoyed doing many things together and we have always thought of Butch as part of the family. Donnis, your loss is hard for anyone to understand but our love and prayers are with you during this time. I wish we could be there for you at this time, but this is not possible. We will be thinking of you in your loss. Love, Joe & Rose Sparkman.

Posted by Joe & Rose Sparkman - Scottsboro, AL   August 10, 2009

We joined Friend Church only a year ago and we both remember yours and Gene's smile and friendly handshake on our first visit. We have felt the Church's Love and heartfelt concerned for Gene during his illness.
He was so well spoken of and truly one of God's Special creations. Our hearts are with you and your family during this time of loss. Mary and Tom Ricciuto

Posted by Mary & Tom Ricciuto - Chapin, SC   August 10, 2009

Donnis I was so sorry too learn of Gene's passing. I have known him through my father since I was a kid. My thoughs are with you.

Darrell Jabour

Posted by Darrell Jabour - irmo, SC   August 10, 2009

Donnis and Family, You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time in your lives. Jeanie, I have enjoyed being at the Harbison pool with you and hope that you can return soon. Esther Bennett

Posted by Esther Bennett - Columbia, SC   August 10, 2009

Condolences to Donnis and family. Mr. Gene was larger than life and truly will be missed. Thanks so much for everything you've done for Friend Church, our home away from home. Please let us know if there is anything we can do.

Posted by Mark & Amy Gilbert - Irmo, SC   August 10, 2009

My condolences on the loss of Eugene. I have known him for some 60 years and ate at all the restaurants he and his brother Doug had. Sorry again to hear of his passing.

Posted by Nathan Picow - Columbia, SC   August 10, 2009

To all the Broome family Mr.B left such a good impression on everyone he knew words cannot describe how he touched so many lives and how positive of a person he was, I will continue to keep you all in my thoughts and prayers with love Lisa Woodruff McMillan May you rest in peace Mr.B

Posted by Lisa Woodruff McMillan - Lamar, SC   August 10, 2009

Both myself and my brother worked at Gene's Rest. in 5 Points. Gene gave me my first job, and stood by my family when my brother was killed on Lake Murray in 1968. I've never forgotten how much my older brother Jack, junior admired Gene Broome. He was a big part of my life, and over these many years I've applied many of the lessons I learned from Mr. Broome to my many businesses.

Gene Broome is an Icon in Columbia. He and his brother Doug will live on forever in the hearts of and family's of every person who lived through the 1960's in South Carolina.

God bless you Gene, and say hello to my brother Jack when you get to heaven!

Posted by Willam Byrd, Senior - CHAPIN, SC   August 10, 2009

Butch and Sherry, I am so sorry to hear of this death. I hope you will depend on the Lord for your strength and support. My prayers are with you and all your family. (I was your neighbor on Goldstone here in Columbia).


Marsha Miller-Adair

Posted by Marsha Adair - Columbia, SC   August 10, 2009

Dear Donnis and family,
I am so sorry for your loss. Gene was a fine man and he will be missed. We will be praying for all of you.
Dot Younginer

Posted by Dot Younginer - Irmo, SC   August 10, 2009

The staff of Dunbar Funeral Home extends deepest sympathy to the Broome family.

Posted by Joey Tanner - Irmo, SC   August 09, 2009