Eugene Joseph Correia Sr. was born on March 8, 1924 to Joseph Terra Correia and Adolina Correia on their dairy farm in Caruthers, California.
Gene grew up in a family of seven siblings; Bill (Vernie), Isabel “DeeDee” (Tony Coelho), Art (Mary), Francis (Louise), Don (Avie), and Joann. His little brother Francis and baby brother Don survived Gene.
Gene met Elsie Flores when they were only seven years old. They courted in high school when they started dancing to big bands. They married in 1945. After their wedding, Gene and Elsie lived in Laton, Riverdale, Visalia, Tulare, then settled in Easton in 1956. Gene was a loving father to four children, Denise (1946), Daniel (1948), Renee (Jeff Badertscher) (1963), and Gene Jr (Barbara) (1965). Gene explained the years between children as the Lord thought he could only handle two at a time. Gene and Elsie survived the death of son, Danny, in 1964, with great faith and many tears.
Gene deeply loved his wife and best friend until her death in 2008 then continued to love her memory and missed twirling her around the dance floor until his death. Gene suffered several months prior to passing on to his eternal life on May 12, 2017 in Folsom, California at 93 years old. His children were by his bedside. Gene never lost his sense of humor even during his suffering.
From the time Gene was a young child on a dairy farm in Caruthers he worked as farmer his entire life growing a wide variety of crops, raising and milking dairy cattle, beef cattle. Later Gene was generous to share his experience with younger farmers learning the complicated process of timing water, harvest, pulling a calf, drying raisins, harvesting corn by hand,, or tomatoes by tons with giant equipment, hauling with trucks, monitoring ditch water, siphon pipes. Gene also maintained and repaired farm equipment.
Gene was a member of Future Farmers of America where he built food booths at Caruthers Fair along with Elsie as well as decorated parade floats and volunteered to serve or cook food in the booths.
Gene was a life time member of Knights of Columbus serving 38 years as Financial Secretary and also as Grand Knight. Gene volunteered his time and led many fundraising projects (fireworks, candy drive, dinners.)
Gene loved his Azorean heritage. He served the CPDES Hall as a board member and volunteer to many events and festas feeding crowds of people after parades and Mass celebrations.
Gene and Elsie donated many hours and funds to establish St Jude Parish. As a devout Catholic Gene was able to enjoy daily Mass without the drive to St John’s Cathedral. He began his day praying a rosary. His faith was never wavering and his confidence in the promises of Jesus for a better life in heaven at the end of his days. Gene understood the phrase "the greatest wealth is contentment with little" and lived a joyful, hard-working, fun-loving, caring, never complaining, long life. He was an example to many of living a joyful and holy life.
Gene was a devoted husband, loving father, fun grandpa, and happy great grandpa. He never lost his sense of humor which entertained many during his long life with his story telling, jokes, teasing, while swimming, enjoying sunshine, or country music,. His grandchildren enjoyed his company and visited often. Michele (Brian Erk), Blake, Bethany, Alyssa, Jared were a delight to Gene. “Vo” loved and enjoyed teasing them and obviously cared very much for each of them. Gene would listen for hours Alyssa and Jared playing piano. Elsie and Gene attended many of Blake and Bethany's Orchestra performances. Bethany on clarinet Blake on saxophone. Blake had many jazz band solos. Gene attended Blake‘s Boy Scouts Pinewood Derby and helped with scoring the event. He was always good with numbers.
His great granddaughter Madelyn Elsie Erk was a happy surprise. Katelyn, Travis, and Christopher were remembered often even though visits were less frequent because of the distance and busyness of their lives. Many summers Gene enjoyed watching Madelyn & Antonia & Johanna play, swim, ride on his “pop mobile” to the swimming pool especially when Petra visited each summer from Germany. Gene and Elsie often gathered “stray” children into their loving arms and lives. Janie and Ron Silva were loved. Fr Phil Massetti had a special place in their hearts. God children were remembered. Even Gene’s caregiver Sofija a few days prior to his death made a special connection.
Viewing will be at Jay Chapel on Wednesday, May 17th, from 2:00 to 7:00pm.
Rosary and Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Thursday, May 18th, at St Jude Catholic Church, 208 West Jefferson Ave, Fresno, California.