George Vernon Eshoo, 84, passed away December 26, 2013 at his home in Medford, Ore. of complications of multiple myeloma. George was born in Milden, Saskatchewan, Canada to Dr. Darius and Amy Kathleen Eshoo. He had one sister, Dr. Joyce Fielding, who preceded him in death in 1967.
George's family moved from Canada to Southern California in the early 1930s where his father became the town doctor in South Pasadena. He graduated from South Pasadena - San Marino High School in 1947 where he played football and loved all sports. Upon graduation he was chosen for the Weldon Fair Play award, which exemplified admirable character and fair play.
George attended Occidental College for one year and then transferred to Cal Berkeley. On August 23, 1950 he married Barbara Jane Plumb also from South Pasadena, who survives. They have three children, Janet Eshoo of Medford, Ore., Sally (Jerry) Johnson of Tigard, Ore., and Glenn Eshoo of Medford, Ore.
George's career began as a gas station attendant. In 1952 he started going door-to-door selling Property and Casualty Insurance as an Independent Agent. His office soon moved from the garage to an office in Pasadena. He was active in the South Pasadena Methodist Church and was chairman of the building committee when a new sanctuary was built. He helped coach Pop Warner football for many years.
In 1968, after visiting Southern Oregon on a vacation, George and Barbara moved their young family to Ashland, Ore. where he bought a small insurance agency which eventually became Associated Insurance. He served as president of the Jackson County Insurance Agents Association and was active in the Medford YMCA where he served on the Y-Board for several years and as President for one year. He attended Ashland Christian Fellowship for many years.
One of George's greatest joys in his life was owning and personally operating Valley View Orchard, outside of Ashland. Starting with the existing pears and cherries, he planted acres of apples, apricots, peaches, and nectarines, providing the public with an almost continuous summertime source of U-Pick fruit. Valley View Orchard's U-Pick operation was eventually featured in both Sunset Magazine and The Christian Science Monitor Magazine.
Some of his greatest lifetime pleasures were playing and watching sports. He was a lifetime avid handball player and, with some friends, started the Southern Oregon Open Handball Tournament in 1983, an annual multi-state tournament which continued until 2004. When he could no longer play handball he concentrated his attention to golf. His photo albums are filled with shots of family trips in their fifth-wheel RV, fishing on the Rogue River in his drift boat with friends, and building his dream house.
After retiring, George and Barbara spent their winters in the California desert at Heritage Palms, Indio, where he loved the camaraderie of his golfing buddies, the warm sunshine and continuous sports on TV. A much blessed life!
George was a man of great integrity, loyalty, fiercely independent, and so hard-working! He always played by the rules. He was a true gentleman, a gentle quiet man, soft-spoken with a dry sense of humor. His love was demonstrated by his actions. He was courteous and respectful and full of forgiveness to the very end. For many years George had grave physical illnesses and much pain. He never, ever, complained. He fought a long brave fight. George was dearly loved and admired by his family. We are eagerly looking forward to our reunion with him in heaven. Lord, may it be soon! Maranatha!
George is survived by his wife of 63 years, Barbara; their three children; and four grandchildren, Amy (Bart) Gibson of Medford, Ore., Ben Thurman of Ashland, Ore., Tyler (Tabatha) Colson of Beaverton, Ore., and Holly (Cory) Rokus of Menifee, Calif.; step-grandchildren, Brian (Jennifer) Johnson of Oceanside, Calif., and Alyse (Robert) Rostamizadeh, Sherwood, Ore.; and seven great-grandchildren, Nicole and Alyssa Gibson, Zachary Colson, Emily and Kinley Johnson, and twins, Savannah and Madison Rostamizadeh.
A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. Friday, January 17, 2014 at the Perl Funeral Home chapel, 2100 Siskiyou Blvd, Medford, Ore. Pastor Mark Anderson will officiate.