Gene went to be with the angels joining his parents John and Carolina, his brothers and sisters; Rodger, John, Grace, Anne, Mary Vera, Sylvia and Emily. He will also be with his beloved wife Doris. Gene was a proud Veteran who served in the US Army as an engineer during World War II. He was a staff sergeant who turned down a field commission to stay with his enlisted men. Gene earned the Legion of Merit Award, the Bronze Star, and a Purple Heart. The war cut short his college education at Regis University in Colorado where he had been awarded a fellowship. Returning from the war, Gene went to Los Angeles, California where many of his brothers and sisters were living. Gene was the youngest of nine. He moved back to his home town of Trinidad Colorado and held positions of city clerk, city treasurer, and city manager. In 1955, Gene moved to South San Francisco to become city manager, a position he held for 16 years. While city manager he was instrumental and proud of creating Oyster Point Marina. At this time of his life he met and married the love of his life, Doris Ekstrom. They were in love until her death on December 19, 2013. After leaving city government Gene began other illustrious career paths and challenges. He was the manager of the Westborough water district, the city manager of Brisbane and then worked for Bank of America at their world headquarters in San Francisco as a senior financial consultant. Working for B of A he traveled the state of California doing research studies for their bond issues. He also did private consulting for financial management, labor relations, and for the law enforcement assistance administration in Washington D.C. and a consultant for the department of Justice. In 1976 Gene and Doris moved back to Trinidad Colorado to work in the family business. He became the president and CEO of the Trinidad National Bank. After retiring from the bank in 1995, Gene remained active in the community. He was a councilman and mayor pro-tem, founding member of the Trinidad Community Foundation, director of the A R Mitchell Museum and chairman of the Pugatoire River Conservancy District. He was the past president of San Isabel Electric board and served as San Isabel's representative on the Western United Electric Supply Corporation board. Gene was a Chenoweth award winner. After leaving the bank Gene continued his true passion of hay farming and ranching. He spent many weekends with Doris at his beloved ranch near Monument Lake in Stonewall which he has had since 1956. In 2010 after suffering a subdural hematoma and two brain surgeries, Gene and his wife moved to Santa Rosa California and settled in the community of Oakmont. Here they were closer to their son Peter Eschelbach and his wife Vicki as well as excellent medical care. Gene passed away of an aneurism after an eight month battle with MDS. Gene passed peacefully in his sleep with Peter and Vicki by his side. Along with his son and daughter-in-law, Gene is survived by his nieces Carol, Teesie, Reggie, Diane, Doris and Sylvia as well as his nephews Keith, Jack, Jim and many great nieces and nephews. The family would like to extend a very special thank you to his excellent caregiver Colleen Trundy and the wonderful care Gene received from the doctors and nurses at Saint Joseph Memorial Hospital. They made Gene's last days comfortable and pain free. Gene is finally headed for the last round up. In lieu of flowers, plant a tomato or eggplant in your garden this spring! There will be a funeral mass at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in the Chapel on Saturday February 22, 2014 at 10:00 a.m., 2930 Bennett Valley Road, Santa Rosa, CA. There will also be a Memorial Mass and celebration in Trinidad, Colorado at a date to be announced. Daniels Chapel of the Roses Funeral Home and Crematory (707)525-3730
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Daniels Chapel of the Roses
1225 Sonoma Avenue Santa Rosa, CA 95402
Published Online in the Press Democrat from Feb. 19 to Feb. 22, 2014