If you were a child (or kid at heart) like me back in the 70’s, you religiously sat in front of the TV Sunday nights at 6pm to watch “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.” The program aired on WICU Channel 12 hosted by Marlin Perkins. A key local sponsor of that original series was Mutual of Omaha insurance salesman O.E. “Gene” Prather. After each episode of Wild Kingdom, a picture of Gene would appear on screen with him talking about his local office. Sadly, Gene passed away on Monday at age 86 at the hospice unit of the VA Medical Center. While he sponsored the show, he was also one of the founding members of the Erie Zoological Society. It’s thanks to Gene that kids like myself could enjoy Wild Kingdom in a world of four TV stations. More details can be found at www.goerie.com/obits and memorial donations can be sent to The Erie Zoo.