Eugene Warren Beers, 87, of Medford, Ore., died peacefully April 20, 2012, at his home at the Rogue Valley Manor. He was the husband of the late Barbara Beers.
Gene was born March 10, 1925, in Berkeley, Calif., son of the late John H. Beers and Edith (Shields) Beers. As a boy, he enjoyed building model planes and aspired to fly when he grew up. He was active in Boy Scouts, which led to a love of nature and a lifelong support of environmental issues.
Gene met Barb, the love of his life, during his senior year at Berkeley High. They were married November 4, 1944, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and shared a life together for 64 years until Barb's death in 2009.
Fulfilling his childhood dream to fly, Gene served as a B-29 Navigator in the United States Army Air Corps during WWII, completing 17 combat missions in the Pacific theatre. He also served in the Korean War and USAF Reserve, retiring as a major.
After completing a bachelor's degree from University of California Berkeley, Gene's career as a mechanical engineer featured prominent roles at Smith-Corona Marchant and Dymo Industries. During those years, his design and craftsmanship skills became legendary in the private projects he undertook. He had a genius for improvising customized structures and a reputation for precision, durability, and elegance in his designs. Over several decades he built two homes and added a new wing to a third. His mother-in-law once said of his work, When Gene built something, it stayed built. In later years, Gene turned his attention to woodworking projects.
A resident of Oregon since 1983, Gene volunteered his time and services to many community organizations, including his church, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Habitat for Humanity, and Meals on Wheels. At St. Mark's, Gene was an active church member, sang in the choir with Barb, and donated his craftsmanship to church projects.
Known as a devoted husband and father, Gene is survived by sons, Jack and Doug and daughters, Connie Pashby and Melissa Tietje. Gene is also survived by seven grandchildren, Lindsey, Julia, Aidan, and Keiler Beers; Lara Carlisle; and Aaron and Dylan Tietje; and two great-grandchildren, Raleigh and Tala Tietje.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 426 West 6th Street, Medford, OR or to the Rogue Valley Manor Foundation, 1200 Mira Mar Ave. Medford, OR.
Gene will be interred at Eagle Point National Cemetery in a private service. A memorial service honoring Gene's life will be held at St. Mark's Church, Saturday, May 26, at 12:00 noon with a reception to follow.