Eugene "Gene" E Evers
Eugene “Gene” Ernest Evers, 90, a resident of the Verboort community passed away on Tuesday morning October 19, 2021 at his home. Gene was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this year and was determined to defy his prognosis by making it to his 90th birthday and attending his granddaughter Katie’s wedding in July.
Gene was born on July 10, 1931 on the family farm in Verboort, OR. He was the seventh of fifteen children born to Albert and Mary (Hermens) Evers. He was raised in Verboort, attended Visitation Grade School and Forest Grove High School graduating with the Class of 1950. During his entire youth, Gene was involved in 4H and FFA winning many awards for showing his prized Holstein Dairy cows.
Gene served his country, enlisting into the US Air Force during the Korean War. He was trained as a camera repairman. While stationed in Japan, he volunteered to fix a camera on a reconnaissance flight. The plane was shot down over North Korea on July 3, 1952. Even though he had shrapnel wounds and had been knocked unconscious, Gene was able to escape by parachuting out of the burning plane. Gene was captured and held in solitary confinement for 14 months. His neck was broken from being sat on by his captors. However, the doctors did not believe him, saying; “If your neck was broken, you would be dead!” It was not until the advent of CT Imaging in the 1980’s that the physicians were able to visualize what Gene had been telling them for decades. These events and injuries deeply impacted him for the rest of his life. After four years of service, he was honorably discharged January 10, 1955 as an Airman First Class. Gene was an extremely proud and active member of the American Ex-POW Association and the Korean War Veterans Association, Oregon Trail Chapter. He was appointed to the Oregon Beef Council by Governor Tom McCall.
Gene and Dolores Rierson married in 1954. They made their home on a 119 acre farm outside of North Plains where he raised hogs and sheep. He built a cabinet shop on the property where he created high quality cabinets for homes in the tri-county area that have lasted for decades. Dolores and Gene had eight children; Charmel, Lynn, Zane, Jovonna, Elizabeth, Annette, Jeana and David. They later divorced. Gene purchased the family dairy in Verboort from his parents and siblings in 1968. Gene married Janice (Sherburne) Welter on July 1, 1997. Janice brought three children, their spouses and three grandchildren into Gene’s life. Gene was thrilled and elated to be married to Janice until her passing on January 4, 2019.
After Gene retired from the dairy, he focused on growing kiwis, figs, apples, pears, plums and 60 varieties of table grapes. Many “twigs” were gathered on Gene and Janice’s travels around the Pacific Northwest, the Midwest, Australia and New Zealand. He loved making wine which he started doing before the age of 14. Gene was a beekeeper and bread baker. He enjoyed making sausage in the late fall for nearly seventy years. He loved giving away and delivering his fruit, wine, honey and loaves of bread around the county. Gene’s outgoing personality was always a bright spot wherever he went.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Janice and grandchildren; Austin Evers and Karina Moe, as well as eight siblings.
Gene is survived by his eight children and their spouses; Charmel Herinckx, Lynn and Robbie Steeves, Zane Evers, Jovonna and Mike Bailey, Elizabeth Silverwolf, Annette Epifano, Jeana and Scott Sandhagen, David and Lori Evers, step children and their spouses; Sherri and Bob Henry, Jeff and Sherry Welter, Annette and Randy Merrill, six siblings, eighteen grandchildren, fifteen great grandchildren, three step grandchildren, two great step grandchildren.