April 22, 1924-January 21, 2013
Eugene, known by everyone as Gene or Gino, passed away peacefully at Serenity House on January 21, 2013 of respiratory failure. Gene was born in Virginia City, NV April 22, 1924, the oldest son of Italian immigrants. At an early age he moved with his parents to Santa Barbara where, with the exception of a few years, he spent his entire
Gene was a modern day Renaissance man. His interests were wide and varied, but most of all he loved people and teaching his students. Gene graduated from Santa Barbara High School in January 1942 where he distinguished himself as a gridion and baseball star. While there, he was an integral part of three CIF title teams including the only CIF baseball championship the school has ever won in 1941. He joined the Merchant Marines after graduation. Upon return from the war he attended Santa Barbara State College briefly but long enough to meet his future wife (Jean Murray). He and Jean married July 17, 1948. In 1949 they embarked on a new venture in Pahrump, NV operating their turkey and chicken ranch. They moved back to Santa Barbara in 1950 where Jean resumed her teaching career and Gene worked with his father building houses and joined the Santa Barbara Fire Department. In 1954, while still on the fire department, Gene and Jean built and operated Gene's Drive-in in Goleta. He sold the business in 1957 and today it is known as the Hamburger Habit. In 1957 Gene resumed his education at UCSB. He graduated with honors while working as a carpet installer, heading the UCSB student yearbook staff all as he and Jean raised their growing family. In 1960 he received his general secondary education teaching credential and began his career teaching industrial arts at San Marcos High School where he remained until his retirement in 1986. There was never a more loyal Royal booster. He loved the school and his students. In retirement he and Jean became avid lawn bowlers and members of the Santa Barbara Art Society. Gene worked as a volunteer for numerous organizations. Together they travelled the world and achieved their goal of visiting all seven of the earth's continents; some several times over. Gene was honored as a charter member of the Santa Barbara High School Baseball Hall of Fame in June 2011, for which he was deeply honored.
He is survived by a brother Ray (Patricia); sons Christopher (Suzette) and Anthony (Laurie) and daughter Leslie; five grandchildren; and 6 great grand grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his father (Ralph), mother (Linda), wife (Jean), brother (Ralph), and daughter (Lucinda).
A special thanks to all his many care givers over the years, especially Rosa, Elena and Alicia for the comfort, love and happiness they provided. A special thank you to Kathleen from Visiting Nurses of Santa Barbara and the caring staff at Hospice Serenity House. In lieu of flowers, the family encourages donations to Visiting Nurses and Hospice Care 930 Miramonte Drive Santa Barbara, CA 93109 or your favorite charity.
Per Gene's wishes he will be interred at the Calvary Cemetery Mausoleum with his loving wife, Jean at a private ceremony.