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  • Eugene B. Gambee

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  • Born June 23, 1931 at St. Vincent's Hospital to Dr. Louis P. and Angela Canning Gambee. On March 12, 2013, after a long and difficult illness, Eugene Blodgett Gambee passed away peacefully in his home at Westover Terrace, the original site of the old St. Vincent's Hospital. It was a source of amusement to him that he would spend the final years of his life only a few feet from where it all began.
    A resident of Portland most of his life, he graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1949. He served stateside as an Army military policeman during the Korean conflict. Never one to accept credit for something he didn't do, when asked about his service in Korea, with a straight face and a twinkle in his eye, he would explain how he fought in the "battles of San Francisco and Los Angeles."
    Following his service Gene enrolled at Seattle University where he graduated with a BS in Chemistry and he met his bride-to-be, Shirley Boitano, a native of Medford, Ore. They were married in 1956.
    Pursuing a lifelong interest in real estate, Gene began purchasing, restoring and reselling distressed properties in the early 1960s. In the 1970s he began a career as a commercial real estate appraiser, often successfully defending his own evaluations in State Tax Court.
    In 1987 Gene became an officer and director of Rogue Disposal & Recycling in Medford, following the death of his father-in-law Anthony Boitano, who co-founded the company in 1938. He helped shepherd the company through the most difficult challenges in its history, including wrenching changes in federal and state environmental laws that completely reshaped the nation's solid-waste industry.
    Gene was a passionate outdoorsman who most enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, and skiing. Some of his fondest memories were of hunting and fly-fishing trips, in particular trips with his sons to Alaska, Canada, and Siberia.
    He remained courageous in spite of all he endured for so many years, expressing more concern for those around him than for himself. His family, caregivers, and those close to him will always remember his intellect, humor, generous spirit, integrity, and humility.
    Gene is survived by his wife, Shirley; his sons, Mark, Peter, and Stephen; and his seven grandchildren, Lauren, Michael, Alexandra, Elizabeth, Rachel, David, and Noah. Memorial services for Gene will be held Saturday May 25, 2013 at Holy Rosary Church, located at 375 N.E. Clackamas Street in Portland. Rosary recitation will begin at 12:30 p.m., with Funeral Mass to begin at 1:00 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Blanchet House, 310 NW Gilsan Street, Portland, Ore. 97209; or to St. Luke Productions, P.O. Box 886, Battle Ground, Wash. 98604.
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