Gene Palsgrove

August 10, 1923 – November 25, 2019

About the Service

A memorial service will be held at the Modesto Church of the Brethren, 2301 Woodland Avenue, Modesto, California, on Sunday, January 19, 2020, at 3:00 p.m.  Donations may be made in Gene’s memory to Interfaith Ministries, 120 Kerr Avenue, Modesto, CA 95354, or Modesto Peace/Life Center, PO Box 134, Modesto, CA 95353-0134.

Gene was born in Piqua, Ohio, to parents Ernest and Fairy Palsgrove. When Gene was three, the family moved to Troy, Ohio, which was home throughout grade school and high school. He attended Manchester College in Indiana where he met Lenore Butterbaugh. They were married June 1, 1946. After graduating from college in 1948, Gene and Lenore accepted an assignment from the Church of the Brethren directing the Community Rehabilitation Project in South Modesto. They were active members of the Modesto Church of the Brethren where Gene directed the choir for 25 years. Lenore died in January 2010. Gene and Lenore celebrated 63 years of marriage.

In February 2011, Gene and long-time friend and neighbor, Mary Baucher, were married. The Palsgrove and Baucher families had been close for many years.

Gene was an educator for Modesto City Schools from 1953-1983, two years in special education, six years as a junior high teacher, five years as junior high vice principal, and seventeen years as an elementary school principal. He was grateful to Modesto City Schools for the opportunity to earn and serve in the teaching profession.

In 1985, Gene was part of a group of 25 Americans who traveled to Khmelnitsky, Ukraine, to initiate contact and develop a peace-oriented relationship between the Soviet Union and the United States. In 1987, Gene and Lenore returned to Khmelnitsky where a formal sister city agreement was signed. Gene and Lenore hosted numerous international guests in their home promoting global understanding and friendships.

Gene was an ad hoc member of the Martin Luther King Jr Commemoration Committee. Gene and Mary were awarded the 2019 MLK Legacy Award for their help in founding the Modesto Peace/Life Center. Gene was also involved with the Community Rehabilitation Project, Interfaith Ministries food bank, and Modesto Sister Cities program. Mary worked with Friends Outside and the Bereaved Parent Support Group.

Gene had a special appreciation for his family and made every effort to gather frequently. He enjoyed being outdoors, jogging, bird watching, golf, tennis, hiking in Yosemite National Park and at Sonora Pass. One of his greatest pleasures was gardening, enjoying the fruits of his labor and sharing with family and friends. Gene loved music and played the guitar and harmonica.

Gene is survived by his wife, Mary Baucher; four children, Kathy Palsgrove Tellin and husband Kevin Rice of Tuolumne, California; Rebecca Palsgrove Davis and husband Wayne of Salinas, California; Edwin Palsgrove and wife Brenda of New Windsor, Maryland; and Marcia Palsgrove of Sonora, California; two bonus sons, Kent Baucher and wife Linda of Huntsville, Utah; and Scott Baucher and wife Lucinda of Fresno, California. Gene and Lenore were the proud grandparents of six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Gene was preceded in death by his brothers Ivan Palsgrove of Covington, Ohio, and James Palsgrove of Troy, Ohio.

A memorial service will be held at the Modesto Church of the Brethren, 2301 Woodland Avenue, Modesto, California, on Sunday, January 19, 2020, at 3:00 p.m.

Donations may be made in Gene’s memory to Interfaith Ministries, 120 Kerr Avenue, Modesto, CA 95354, or Modesto Peace/Life Center, PO Box 134, Modesto, CA 95353-0134.


Remembrances

  1. I remember many great times spent with Gene. From youth advisor to song leader. I especially remember enjoyable rounds of golf with him and my father! I hope they will be enjoying many more heavenly rounds together!

  2. I will never forget Gene. He was one of the kindest most gentle human beings I knew. During the 1970s Gene found himself embroiled in a controversy with parents who wanted Modesto schools to “lighten up” and appreciate kids for their uniqueness,special needs and creative abilities. This was promoted by most Modesto schools continuing a very traditional approach to education. Gene found himself in the middle of the controversy. He never showed one hint of frustration or irritation. He was professional, interested in our ideas and open to new approaches. Mind you, this was 40 years ago! I never forgot him and the values he obviously carried throughout his life. My condolencesto his family.

  3. I was just down in the area of Gene’s home Recently and thinking of him and wanting to stop by and say hi. Now I’ll see Gene in our heavenly home.
    I had the sweet privilege to have given Lenore massages for a few years. I started going to the house when she couldn’t drive anymore, and Gene would pick oranges for me. Such a sweet couple! After Lenore went to heaven, God brought Mary❤️ and the couple were married ❤️. Thoughts and prayers at this tender time. May Gods peace and comfort be with you all❤️

  4. What a great gentleman. Fondest memories of Gene, Lenore and all the family. Will be thinking about you on the 29th as you have so much to celebrate about Gene’s life. Wish I could be there.

  5. Having first met Gene and his family in 1969 (while working for BVS) this led to a lifelong
    friendship which I treasure very much. It was my pleasure to introduce my son Joji to him.
    Gene’s ability to make people feel at ease even when talking to total strangers, as well as his
    openness concerning politics & religion has been his special gift to us. Hopefully, his attitude of compassion will enrich our own activities in the future.
    Frieder (Ernie) Sondermann – Sendai (Japan)

  6. My uncle Gene and I had two special days together in the early 1990s in Modesto that I will always be thankful for and never forget. His visits to Troy through the years were also a blessing. Peace was his message; may the peace of God be with all the family and all who spent time with Gene….I can still hear his laugh.

  7. Our parents, Hurley and Thelma Couchman, valued Gene’s wisdom and Sunday School lessons and harmonica playing, and especially their close friendship for many years with him, Lenore, and Mary.
    Jonathan, Sarah, Mark, David, Rebecca

  8. My thoughts are with you at this tender time. I enjoyed the many associations I had with Gene. He was always a great support to me.

    Sincerely,
    Sue Zwahlen

  9. Gene and my father, Phil Line were long time educators with Modesto City Schools for decades serving as elementary principals. My father deeply admired and respected Gene. I had the pleasure to meet Gene several times while he lovingly and faithfully served the community where he lived. Gene will be missed, however his impact will live on.

    Cathy Line

  10. Our thoughts and prayers go to the very special family of Gene. He will always be remembered for his love, compassion and kindness shown to all who came into his life. Blessings, Eddie & Gayle

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