Eugene Gordon Verkerk
Eugene Gordon Verkerk died Dec. 16, 2007.He was born March 31, 1931, in Oroville, Calif., to Martin Verkerk and Eunice Dowdy. While growing up in Oroville, Gene worked summers in the logging industry.Gene attended Oroville High School. He then went on to attend St. Mary’s and Yuba colleges and North Texas State College. He was a star athlete in both basketball and football. While at North Texas State, he received two draft notices, one for the Chicago Bears and one for the U.S. Army. He served his country in 1953 in Korea, and in the Army Reserves. Gene was decorated with the Full National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal, U.N. Service Medals, and the Good Conduct Award. Gene played in the Chicago Bears’ 1955 preseason. He returned to school and received his bachelor of arts degree in physical education from Chico State in California. Gene was a dedicated teacher and coach, and influenced students at both Gridley and Las Plumas high schools in California. As a coach, Gene led his basketball and football teams to several championships and produced competitive baseball and golf athletes.In 1991, Gene retired from the Oroville School District and went to Parachute, coaching baseball and golf at Grand Valley High School, and teaching as a substitute.Gene married Donna Vranna in 1951 and they later divorced. In 1981, he married Alice Fay. They divorced in 2004.He will be missed and remembered fondly.Gene is survived by daughter Amy Franco of Corona, Calif.; sister Ruth Damron of Arbuckle, Calif.; stepdaughters Loma Wetmore and Ardee Jones, both of Oroville, Heather Kyle, Daisy McEvoy and Alice Bell, all of Palisade, Robyn Jones of Finite and Karen Pinnt of Mesa; grandchildren Joaquin and Jaida Franco, and Ashley Lincoln-Woods; great-grandchild Bradley Woods; as well as numerous step-grandchildren.He was preceded in death by daughter Ann Lincoln, of Taylorsville, Calif., and brothers Joe and Raymond.Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, at Grand Valley High School, and at a later date at the Glen Oak Memorial in Chico.
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