Serving Whitman County since 1877

Eugene Edward Feenan

March 19, 1940 - March 15, 2024

Gene passed away on March 15, 2024, just days short of his 84th birthday. He was born on March 19, 1940, to Gene and Josephine Herron Feenan. Gene was second oldest of five siblings that grew up on the family farm, midway between St. John and Colfax. He attended school in St. John and graduated high school there in 1958. From a very early age Gene participated in the farm operation while also being very involved at school, playing all major sports and enjoying many FFA activities.

After high school, he attended WSC (WSU), graduating in 1963 with a Master's Degree in Food Science. For the next 40+ years, Gene was involved in fruit production or operated his own orchards. In 1974 he married Jan Schauble, and together they lived in a number of locations- Manson and Brewster among them––in the course of his work career. In 2014, Gene retired, and he and Jan moved to a new home in Ephrata shortly thereafter.

Gene took pride in a number of significant times and achievements in his life. He spent several winters in Argentina (their summers) with his first employer, learned to speak Spanish fluently, and loved the people and exploring the countryside on horseback. He was an excellent skier whose early travels took him from Schweitzer to Switzerland. He possessed amazing endurance and climbed Mount Rainier a number of times. Gene and Jan took in three teens whose mother had died and parented them through their high school years. Gene enjoyed hunting and bagged two 30" muley bucks in the mountains along Lake Chelan. He loved animals, particularly dogs and horses. One particular horse, an Appaloosa stud, was raced and then hauled to states as far away as Texas for breeding. Gene enjoyed photography, off-road motorcycling, and Jeeps. Most importantly, Gene was a strong Christian man who lived his life in accordance with his Biblical beliefs.

A letter I received from Gene in 2008 revealed much of what he truly valued. His sister, Sherry, was visiting him in Argentina in the late 1960's and of this visit he wrote, "I think and she agrees that Bariloche (a town in the Patagonia region) is more beautiful than anything that we have seen in Scandinavia, Austria, or Switzerland. How lucky I have been to have worked in the places I have – yet my best memories are of the Palouse area and family."

Gene was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Sondra. He is survived by his wife, Jan, at their home in Ephrata. He is also survived by a brother Craig Feenan (Fern) of Colfax, a sister Sherry Straus (David) of Medford, Ore., and a sister Laurette Kennelly of Medical Lake, Wash.

In accordance with Gene's wishes, no memorial service is planned. If anyone should desire to make a contribution in Gene's memory, a donation to the Humane Society or an animal rescue organization would honor his love of animals.


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