Updated:
Original:

St. Paul's 'Geno' put a shine on your shoes – and your day

Author:

Gene Wiley, who brightened the days of countless customers and office workers from his shoeshine stand in downtown St. Paul, has died at age 71.

"Geno's" stand was a fixture in the Hamm Building for 13 years and office workers there started a fundraising campaign to help with his medical expenses after Wiley had a series of small strokes this summer.

Wiley did not recover and died this week, the Pioneer Press reports.

He was nicknamed "the ambassador of the Hamm Building" and knew many of those who worked on its six floors by name, friends say.

Jennifer Bisch, who owns a business next to where Geno's stand was located, tells the Pioneer Press: "It's hard because people come by every day and ask about him and I have to keep breaking the bad news... The guy just knew everybody and was so well-loved."

Sean O'Byrne owns Great Waters Brewing, Company, which was on the other side of Geno's stand, and tells the paper: "He greeted everybody as they came in to work, spoke to them as they left for lunch ... He got to know people, their families, their spouses, that kind of thing."

A memorial service for Wiley is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 9th at 11:00 a.m. at the Spielman Mortuary, 344 W. University Avenue in St Paul.

Next Up

uprooted tree in Burnsville

NWS: Tornadoes confirmed to have struck Apple Valley, Burnsville

A crazy night of storms may have included even more tornadoes.

police lights

Man charged with manslaughter after fistfight ends in death

The incident happened at a veterans housing complex in Chisholm.

Concert

Ellison reaches $1.9M settlement with StubHub over COVID cancellations

The ticket reselling giant will pay $1.87 million in refunds for Minnesota events.

Everson Griffen

Everson Griffen injured in car accident after swerving to miss a deer

Griffen was involved in the crash Thursday on his way to work.

Screen Shot 2021-09-17 at 8.30.16 AM

DPS sparks furore with 'not reaching' pouches designed to stop police shootings

The pouches were developed in collaboration with Valerie Castile, whose son Philando was fatally shot by police while reaching for his permit-to-carry.

police lights

Maintenance worker finds 2 bodies in West St. Paul garage

It's unclear how long the bodies were in the garage before being discovered.

Screen Shot 2021-09-17 at 10.42.39 AM

Tree branch falls on tent in Mankato, killing 4-year-old girl

The tree branch fell at approximately 2:30 a.m.

Related

School bus company leaves St. Paul students waiting on first day

A school bus company contracted by the St. Paul Public Schools left students waiting after buses failed to show up on about 10 routes and caused delays on a dozen others. The first day of school got off to a rough start with reports of three school bus crashes.