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Charles T. Genaux

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Dr. Charles T. Genaux, 81, retired associate professor of biochemistry at University of Alaska Fairbanks, and 55-year resident of Fairbanks, passed away Aug. 6, 2008, in Fairbanks following a prolonged battle with cancer.

Charles was born April 8, 1927 in Pullman, Wash. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a weather observer from 1945-47, and his love for meteorology, clouds, stars and the sky remained with him throughout his life.

In 1948, after finishing his service, he decided to take a year abroad studying in Basel, Switzerland. During the voyage there on the Queen Mary, he met a beautiful girl named Hanna, who was also going to study in Switzerland that year. They were married in 1950 in Ames, Iowa, and after spending their honeymoon working in the fields de-tasseling corn, the couple moved to Rochester, N.Y., where he began work on his doctorate degree. In 1953, he was offered a job teaching biochemistry at UAF, and the couple moved into a small house on University Avenue.

In 1955, Charles, with the help of one of his students, built a log cabin on Farmers Loop, adding a second-story addition in 1966. This log cabin was one of his fondest achievements, and was even featured in a February 1970 article in the Daily News-Miner, "Fine Homes in Fairbanks!"

In 1969, Charles achieved his doctorate at UAF in zoochemistry. His role as a teacher with UAF was very special to him. He loved breaking barriers and helping his students overcome their fear of chemistry through language, metaphor, nature and fine arts. He was always delighted to hear from former students, and gratified to hear of their achievements beyond his classes.

In his retirement, Charles loved to travel, read and learn. His trips, whether abroad or just to town, were always a high point for him, and whether he was getting off a plane or just leaving a store, he always knew everyone's names and a little bit of their life 'sstories by the time he left.

Charles is survived by his wife, Hanna; sister, Anne, of La Grande, Ore.; three daughters and son-in-law, Maia and Cathy Genaux and Vivica Genaux and Massimo Patella; and grandchildren, David, Beth and Ben.

There wll be no formal service, but in memoriam, please support the arts in Fairbanks either by donation or by attending an opera, concert, workshop or play. Charles loved getting out to local performances, and was very much looking forward to being at the upcoming production of one of his favorite operas, Rossini's "La Cenerentola," presented by Opera Fairbanks. Charles was fond of telling his Italian son-in-law Massimo, "Io sono Don Magnifico!" ("I am Don Magnifico!"), who, as the father of Cinderella in Rossini's opera, learns to be proud of all three of his daughters (and enjoys wreaking havoc along the way). The first performance in Fairbanks at 7:30 p.m., Aug. 22, in the Lee H. Salisbury Theatre will now be graciously dedicated to his memory.



Published in Daily News-Miner on Aug. 12, 2008
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