Gene I. Belknap, 84, of Brookings, passed away Dec. 15, 2012, in Medford.
Gene was born Nov. 20, 1928, in Dinuba, Calif., to Linnie and Clair (New) Belknap.
He grew up in Reedley, Calif., where he was raised by his aunt and uncle due to his father’s death.
Gene later moved to Fresno, Calif., where he began driving a truck. In 1959, Gene grew fond of his employer’s daughter, Marilyn McCarty. Following their first group date with her parents, the two fell in love and were married just three months later, on Sept. 6, 1959, in Reno, Nev.
They later moved to Florida but returned to California, settling in the Bay Area. Gene began working in the purified gas industry and, ultimately, founded a business, Kinetic, with a couple of his colleagues.
In 1980, he and Marilyn sold their share in the company and Gene began consulting work in the same industry. Gene’s talent brought demand for his services from big companies such as Intel, and would take he and Marilyn to Brazil for a year and a half. They returned and Gene semi-retired at 65, but would continue helping on special projects when needed. He and Marilyn purchased an RV and traveled up and down the West Coast until settling in Brookings in 1990, as one of the first owners of a cottage at Whaleshead Beach Resort.
Gene loved to fish for salmon on the Chetco and Rogue rivers. He also enjoyed working with wood. He and Marilyn teamed up to make different wood ornaments that they would sell at the local fairs and markets. Gene also liked to collect and carve Native American and mountain-man artifacts. He was a member of Brookings Elks Lodge 1934.
Survivors include his wife Marilyn Belknap of Brookings; son Rodney Belknap and his wife Christine of San Ramon, Calif.; grandchildren Brian, Holly and Diana; great-grandchild, Morgan.
Gene was preceded in death by his son Rick Belknap and his sister Barbara Belknap.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 31 W. Sixth St., Medford, OR 97501.
A celebration of Gene’s life will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at Redwood Memorial Chapel, 1020 Fifield St. in Brookings.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.redwoodmemorial.net.
Submitted by Redwood Memorial Chapel.