GENE GRAHEK – Class of 1966
June 15, 1948 — March 12, 2014
Friends and family were deeply saddened at the sudden passing of a great man and classy gentleman, Gene Grahek, on Wednesday, March 12, 2014. A 32-year resident of our El Dorado county, his presence brought a bright light to anyone fortunate enough to know him — whether it was as one of the more than 9,000 El Dorado County residents and students who learned about the sun through his solar scope, or the stars and planets at the Cameron Park Community Observatory in Placerville, where he served as a Lead Docent and permanent member of the Observatory Advisory Committee, a Boy Scout lucky enough to be in Troop 95, a friend who joined him on one of his El Dorado or Sonoma County wine tours, or fly model airplanes, or run model trains with him, or enjoyed the more than 700 varieties of conifers he had planted on his property. Time spent with Gene was always special and filled with fun, learning, and laughter.
Gene enjoyed 36 years married to the love of his life, Pat, and they were definitely “joined at the hip.” Friends rarely referred to Gene or Pat, but to “Gene and Pat,” as they were the epitome of a loving couple — Gene in the lead and Pat providing all of the necessary background support. He served many years as the president of Sea Lodge, a special home they shared in Bodega Bay with a group of friends and loved sharing it with friends and family. He graduated with a degree in fisheries biology from Humboldt State College, and worked in various capacities for the federal government — mostly in Social Security — prior to his retirement. He and Pat enjoyed boating and traveling with friends in their travel trailer. They were active members of the American Conifer Society, often attending their annual conferences throughout the western USA.
Gene is survived by his loving wife, Pat; as well as his two children, Justin and Erin (Aaron) Kilbourne; his beautiful granddaughter, Ava; and his brothers, Randy (Valerie) and Greg. He was a true family man and always placed them first in his life. He will be missed by friends and family, and his influence will remain enduring and ever-present in all of his life’s endeavors.
A celebration of Gene’s life will be held on Saturday, April 12, from 2 to 5 p.m., at Cold Springs Country Club. Anyone fortunate enough to have known this wonderful man is invited to attend.