Ralph Eugene 'Gene' Fawbush
Gene passed away at Surprise Memory Care in Surprise, Arizona, on July 20, 2019 from complications from Alzheimer's at the age of 91.
Ralph Eugene "Gene" Fawbush was born June 25, 1928 in McCleary, Washington, to Lewis and Dessie (Padgett) Fawbush.
He spent three years in Portland, Oregon, during World War II, attending Jefferson High School and working in the shipyards with his dad. He returned to McCleary for his senior year and graduated from Elma High School in 1946. He enlisted in the Army Air Corps (later to become the Air Force) and served three years in the Pacific during the stabilization of Japan and other Pacific islands.
When he returned from the Air Force, he attended bartending school and got a job bartending in Olympia, Washington. When the Korean War broke out, he re-enlisted in the Air Force and spent two years serving in the Pacific.
Gene moved to Portland after the Korean War and worked for many years at the Multnomah Athletic Club. He went on to become a private club manager. He managed the Beaverton Elks, Salem Elks, Corvallis County Club and Oswego Lake Country Club. He was president of the Club Managers of Oregon in 1972 and he served on the advisory board for the School of Hospitality at Oregon State University in the mid-1970s.
He married Jeri Mynarcik, a fellow club manager, in 1977. In December of 1978, they moved to Prineville to purchase the Dairy Queen, which they have owned for more than 40 years. He was very active in the Merchants Committee for the Chamber of Commerce in the 1980s. Gene was a big help to Santa Claus for many years, bringing joy to many children and decorating the Santa Claus float.
Gene was the local marketing chairman for many years for the Central Oregon Dairy Queens. He also served on the Board of Directors for Dairy Queen of the Pacific Northwest in the 1980s and was the Northwest representative to International Dairy Queen in the mid-1990s.
Gene developed a passion for snorkeling while cruising the Tahitian Islands. He traveled to many of the Caribbean islands, all of the Hawaiian islands and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in order to view the wonders of the sea.
He loved to play golf and eventually spent the winters in St. George, Utah, after he semi-retired, to enjoy their many golf courses. In 2010, they relocated their winter home to the Phoenix, Arizona, area to be closer to their son.
He loved working at the Dairy Queen and the Dairy Queen business, often boring people with his constant DQ talk at social and family events. He was still going to the bank, cleaning tables and washing dishes into his late 80s.
He is survived by his wife, Jeri; daughter, Margo Fawbush of Vancouver, Washington; son, Sage Fawbush (Alysa) of Peoria, Arizona; dog, Gus; and grand dog, Sadie.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Robert Fawbush of Tumwater, Washington, and his daughter, Karen Fawbush of St. George, Utah.
He will be interned at Juniper Haven Cemetery. No service will be held.