ATASCADERO — Gene Edward Humphrey, 73, of Atascadero died on Nov. 13, 2012, at a local hospital.
Gene was born in Fresno and grew up in and around Mendota in the San Joaquin Valley where he attended local schools. During many summers he worked as a cantaloupe trucker at the Coit Melon Harvesting Shed in Mendota. After receiving a degree in education from San Jose State University, Gene moved to Atascadero where he taught elementary school from 1961 to 1993.
After retiring from teaching, Gene teamed up with fellow teacher, the late Ron Mumford, renovating and building homes. For the last 20 years he invested in commercial and residential real estate with local businessman and close friend, Jack Licari.
Gene was proud of his family, in awe of how hard Tori and Garrett work for their families and quick to boast about how brilliant his grand-nephews are. He particularly enjoyed family celebrations, holidays, weddings and birthdays, and was even known to don a pointy party hat for his nephew’s amusement.
For many years Gene was a living history docent at Hearst Castle. While at the castle he particularly enjoyed singing old tunes while friend and fellow docent, Valerie Tacker, played piano. When not at the castle, he enjoyed playing golf with a close circle of friends.
He loved visiting Yosemite National Park, John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, music by Cole Porter and Willie Nelson and Thursday morning coffee with his brother, Brad, and good friend Bob Kelley.
For many years he was honored to be a judge at Tent City during the annual Colony Days celebration in Atascadero. He enjoyed going for rides in his 1986 Lincoln Town Car, even though people thought it was too big. He always regretted selling his 1950 Chevrolet pickup truck.
He was a life-long Democrat and understood the plight of the poor and was a champion for hard-working people trying hard to achieve the American Dream.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Thurman and Norene Humphrey, and his first wife, Nadine Blackman.
He is survived by his longtime companion and girlfriend, Chris Nielsen; his brother, Brad Humphrey (Valerie); niece, Tori Loney (Danny); nephew Garrett Humphrey (Sarah); and great nephews Clayton, Cole and Cade Loney, all of Atascadero.
Services were held on Monday, Nov. 19 at the Chapel of the Roses with graveside services at the Atascadero District Cemetery.
Gene cherished, and was cherished by, his family. He will be forever in our hearts.
For the complete article see the 11-21-2012 issue.
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