Eugene Victor (Gene) Lux
1926 - 2019
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Eugene (Gene) Victor Lux

Gene died suddenly and peacefully on June 21, 2019. Born in Lincoln, Nebraska on August 16, 1926 to Harry and Anna Lux, Gene was named in honor of his father's hero, Eugene Victor Debs, the American socialist, political activist and trade unionist. A longstanding figurehead of the community, Gene lived up to his namesake in every way.

At the age of 13, Gene drove his mother, who was sick with tuberculous, across the country to join his father Harry and sit among the Washington Wobblies, revolutionary labor unionists opposed to bosses and authoritarian control. At the beginning of WWII, Gene lied about his age to join the Merchant Marines and was assigned as a ship cook. Although he never cooked before, he quickly learned to bake bread in a wood-fired stove, after sifting meal worms out of the flour.

Gene joined the fight for civil rights in its infancy. As a true populist politician, Gene worked relentlessly for ordinary people whose needs were disregarded by the established elite. Gene represented the 35th and 11th Legislative Districts as a member of the Washington House of Representatives from 1973 until 1988 and was appointed to two tenures in the Washington State Senate. With a wry sense of humor, Gene announced the adjournment of each legislative session by wearing his sine die shoes, the gaudiest pair of white patent leather shoes, made even more conspicuous on his size 13 feet. He was honored by the Washington Trial Lawyers as Legislator of the Year with the Lois D. Brandies Award.

Gene was a dedicated public servant who served on numerous boards, including Group Health Cooperative, People's Memorial Association, Washington State Funeral and Cemetery Board and Southeast Seattle Senior Center. Gene served seven four-year terms as Commissioner of King County Fire District 20 until he was 92. A strong leader, Gene's tenure as commissioner lasted through six different fire chiefs, providing a voice of continuity through change.

Gene was generous to a fault and always took the time to talk to people he met along the way. By the end of each day he was running at least two hours late. Gene worked as a self-employed building contractor. The man with a big barrel chest and large capable hands could build anything.

Gene is survived by his loving wife Marilyn, his children Diane Little, David Hornbeck, Karen Bertram, Linda Nelson and Susan Lux, five grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and many dear friends. His legacy and influence will live on for years to come.

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, June 29 at 1:00 p.m.

at the Southeast Seattle Senior

Center at 4655 S Holly St., Seattle

Memorial gifts may be made to King County Fire District 20, 12424 76th Ave. S., Seattle, WA.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Seattle Times on Jun. 23, 2019.
Celebration of Life
01:00 PM
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8 entries
May 13, 2020
So sorry to learn of Gene Lux's passing.

It was my great fortune to have interned for Gene during the 1982 Washington state legislative session. He was a wonderful and inspiring guy to work for.

He was quite funny too with his gentle wit. For example, there was a bill to allow big out of state banks to take over smaller local banks. The small banks sent their lobbyists over to fight against the bill. When Gene introduced me to two of them, he described them as "worried about the sharks getting eaten by the whales." A great quip, but delivered in such a good-natured way that no one could possibly take offense. RIP Gene.
James Davis
July 8, 2019
Gene's smile could light up a room. I remember him so fondly from the 70's and events at King County Democratic Central Committee. He was resolute in his beliefs and he taught me much about what is important in life. Gene's dedication to social justice was inspiring. He was one of the truly good guys.
Sandy Jacoby
July 3, 2019
Gene is my husbands cousin, we always enjoyed him at family get together, he loved to talk and was great fun.
Janet Foss
June 28, 2019
In Loving Memory Arrangement
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Sharon Greer
June 24, 2019
I met Gene a few years ago and was awe struck by the vibrancy in which he lived his life and by the compassion he shined on those in need. He left an imprint on me, and I suspect on many, many others. God speed Eugene.
Darcy LaBelle
June 24, 2019
30th McGovern Reunion
Teresa McMahill
June 24, 2019
When I worked for the Alliance for Retired Americans (2004-07), Gene would ride with me to Olympia for various events and hearings. I loved slow traffic on I-5 because it gave us more time to talk about everything from current events to Puget Sound politics and political history to a summer road trip Gene and his parents took to Seattle when he was a kid.
Steve Dzielak
June 23, 2019
2012- 40th McGovern Reunion
I met Gene during the George McGovern campaign in 1972. We worked together to organize precinct caucuses in the 35th district, hoping to elect a slew of McGovern delegates - and became fast friends. I never tired of hearing his stories about Mother Jones, who stayed at his family home, his father Harry's antics, like stopping in Centralia every time he passed by and shouting out to all who would listen, "Is this the town that killed Wesley Everest?," (a Wobbly brutally murdered by townsfolk) or his sage advice, including - ironically - "Never trust a man wearing white shoes." So many of the social-justice advocates of Gene's generation are gone now - Lyle Mercer, Bob Reed, and Aubrey Davis, to name a few, and their grit, clear-vision and tenacity will never be replicated. I will be unable to attend Gene's service due to work obligations in Spokane (where, I might add, Wobbly organizer Elizabeth Gurley Flynn was arrested in 1906 fighting for free speech), but I will be with you in spirit, singing Solidarity Forever from across the plains.
Teresa McMahill
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