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Memorial for Eugene Maw

Born in Chelan, Washington on Jun. 19, 1938
Departed on Mar. 21, 2020 and resided in Corvallis, Oregon.
 

  
Eugene R. Maw was born in Chelan, Washington, on June 19, 1938. He died peacefully in the
presence of his family in Corvallis, Oregon, on March 21, 2020. He died of pneumonia, a
complication of the stroke he experienced in September 2019. He was preceded in death by his
wife of nearly 50 years, Judy (Stitt) Maw, in 2014.
Although born Raymond Eugene, he preferred
“Gene” and was known to many as “Geno.” He was
a friend to all who knew him. In his 81 years of life,
it would be a challenge to uncover anyone who did
not thoroughly enjoy Geno’s kindness, humor, sly
smile, trademark chuckle, pride in his family, and
enjoyment of sports. Although he could carry on a
conversation with just about anybody, Geno was an
especially good listener who asked strategic
questions to keep the conversation going. He had a
genuine knack for making people feel welcome in
his life. His daughters remember that it was rare to
go anywhere without someone enthusiastically
shouting out, “Hey, Geno!”
Gene will be greatly missed by his family, but also
by many others. Every Saturday morning he walked
the track and ate breakfast at Green Meadows
Country Club with his friends Tom, Phil, and Bob, who were also part of his long-lasting tennis
family. He routinely enjoyed season tickets to the Blazers with his friend, Doug. His neighbors --
Brenda, Rick and Terri, and Jim and Cory -- all remember Gene as someone who never missed
a chance to wave and say hello. At the Ilani Casino, Gene was known as “Mean Gene” for his
extraordinary luck at the gaming tables, especially Craps. And even in the last six months, as he
was confined to skilled nursing facilities, he continued to make friends with his caretakers. His
family often heard, “Gene? I love him!” as they visited. One of Gene’s most loved nicknames
was “Grampa Dog,” as he enjoyed his neighbor’s dogs and frequent visits by family dogs, Scout
and Monty (“The Boys”) and Rex. The dogs will miss Gene’s joy at seeing them and his
not-so-secret stash of treats. In the words of Gene’s friend, Ernie, “The world would be a better
place with more Geno’s in it!”
Of all the things Gene found interest in, baseball was one of the most important. Gene had a
lifelong passion for the game. Baseball delighted Gene, from an early childhood ritual of
listening to the Yankees on a transistor radio, to annual Mariner games at Safeco Field with his
daughter, Beth, and occasionally other family members. He was a superb resource in Trivial
Pursuit for all baseball questions. Some of his favorite players were Mickey Mantle, Don
Drysdale, and ultimately, Mariner DH, Edgar Martinez. He even had a growing “Edgar” collection
in his den. Gene made two trips to Spring Training in Arizona; the first to celebrate his
retirement in 2000, and the second, in 2017, to experience a shared love of baseball with Beth.
Gene is survived by two daughters, June Morris and Beth Maw, and two grand-daughters,
Katharine (Satak) Sullivan and Sarah Satak. Gene warmly welcomed June’s husband, John
Morris; Beth’s partner, Robert Lewis; Katharine’s husband, Brandon Sullivan; and Sarah’s
partner, Kyle Toole, into his family. He also considered John’s children, Jessie Eby Morris and
Scott Morris, as family. A doting grandfather, who enjoyed seeing his grandchildren in soccer
games, Cross Country meets, school programs, and more, Gene remained eager to hear what
was going on, whether it was work stories, vacations, or animal antics. Gene was pleased to
be at the heart of a busy and growing family, participating in holiday celebrations, weddings, and
more ordinary get-togethers like dinners out at Burgerville or Applebees. One of his most recent
favorite memories was last year when several members of the family celebrated his birthday
and Father's Day by spending the day at the Washington Park Zoo together. He was
exceptionally proud to attend Sarah’s graduation from Oregon State University in 2016 and was
anticipating attending Katharine’s graduation from OSU this spring.
Gene is also survived by a sister, Linda Sattem, her husband of 43 years, David Sattem, and
nephew, Mark Sattem (all of Vancouver). Linda and her cousin, Judy, remember Gene as a
“wonderful soul” and Linda is thankful for “the best big brother possible.” Over the years, he
enjoyed frequent lunch dates with Linda, and shared an interest in music with Linda and David.
Gene also looked forward to the annual family foosball tournament at Linda and David’s. Gene
relished the intense but friendly rivalry of this event, playfully bragging that he was “Champion of
the World” in his best Howard Cosell imitation after he scored a goal.
Gene met his wife, Judy, on a co-ed bowling league and they married in 1964. They did not live
lavishly, but they enjoyed time with family and friends, gathering around the pool table in the
basement and visiting frequently. Family outings included trips to the beach, the zoo, and
OMSI, and always eating out on Saturday night. Gene and Judy took their own daughters to
Disneyland, a trip that was repeated twice in later years when they took each grand-daughter on
a special trip to both Disneyland and San Diego. In retirement, Gene and Judy enjoyed travel to
some new places, including Gene’s first and only journey outside the US: a much-longed for
Caribbean Cruise. Before Judy’s death, they dreamed of going on an African safari so they
could see the exotic animals that so fascinated them.
Gene was the son of Glenn and Irene (Bertwell) Maw, Dust Bowl refugees who left farming in
Nebraska in the 1930s, relocating to Chelan, Washington, to work in the apple orchards. Gene
liked to tell the story that he was “born in an apple crate.” Glenn and Irene moved west with
Glenn’s brother (Forrest, known as “Frosty”) and cousin (Don, known as “Pepper”) and the three
families later moved to Vancouver during WWII to seek work in the many wartime industries.
Gene grew up in Vancouver, graduating from Fort Vancouver High School in 1956. Before and
after a brief stint in the US Army, Gene followed his father into work at one of the local
canneries. Gene also worked at Nicolai Door Company in Portland for several years. He was
an ardent believer in unionized work and was thankful for his pension and retiree benefits from
the Teamsters.
Gene considered himself “the world’s happiest retiree,” spending hours reading biographies and
action stories, playing tennis, and savoring a relaxed pace of life. He enjoyed sunny days and
simple pursuits. If anyone was up for a game of golf, he would break out his clubs. Gene also
loved playing games like Yahztee and Chicken Foot with his family, usually recording his name
on score sheets as “Winner,” just to taunt everyone else. Despite these playful jests, Gene was
reliably everyone’s number one fan. He shared in his family’s victories, large and small, and
was a compassionate listener when we suffered a setback. His memory lives on in the many
memories we made with Gene who was our Dad, Grampa, “Geno,” and “Grampa Dog.”
For those who would like to honor Gene’s memory, the family is asking for donations to the
Vancouver Public Library system. In retirement, Gene always had a book in progress!
Donations can be made online at the Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation website
(fvrlfoundation.org) or by mailing checks to the Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation, PO
Box 2384, Vancouver, Washington, 98668.
  

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