Billie Gene (Mac) McClure, long-time resident of Hood River, Ore., passed away on Tuesday, July 31, 2018, at his home. He was born on Feb. 10, 1928, in Welch, Okla., to Thyren Franklin McClure and Leta Dephine (LaDuke) McClure.
At the age of 14, Gene and his family made their way to San Pedro, Calif. He returned to Oklahoma to marry his grade school sweetheart; they returned to San Pedro and, with Gene’s family, made their way to the Hood River Valley area, where they settled. They called Cascade Locks home for the next several years.
Gene worked construction, on a fur farm, sold cars and finally settled at Bonneville Dam, where he worked for 35 years, retiring as maintenance superintendent. He received several awards for his innovative ideas and his performance, as well as being a well-respected supervisor. His staff valued his leadership and work ethic.
Gene was always involved in community affairs. He served on the Cascade Locks School Board, held leadership roles in the Hood River Co-op and was a member and leader in the Elks Club and Masonic Lodge. He was also a member of the Eagles. He became very involved with Idlewilde Cemetery and worked hard to make sure the cemetery ran smoothly and in beautifying the grounds. Gene established the pet cemetery when his wife passed away in 1998. Many special pets have been laid to rest there.
When Gene retired, he and his wife purchased acreage and they raised beef and planted a very productive orchard. They ran the “farm” and enjoyed selling fruit and playing with their special cats.
He purchased a home in Arizona, and for the next 17 years, he spent time between Arizona and Oregon. He enjoyed the sun and growing citrus fruit that he would share with friends and family.
Gene also loved to hunt with his father and several friends in the Cascade Locks area and fishing at the coast, running his own boat, or in Alaska with friends and the family catching several-hundred pound halibuts. In later years, Gene enjoyed cruising with Debbie, family, and friends.
Gene is survived by his longtime companion, Debbie Lanquist; his daughters, Lynda Diane Amoth (Alan) of Corvallis, Ore., and Deana Darlene Dean (Don) of Salem, Ore.; four grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. Gene is preceded in death by his parents and sister, Neva Joan (McClure) Easley.
Services for Gene are planned for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8 at the Idlewilde Mausoleum, 980 Tucker Road, Hood River. Arrangements are under the direction of Anderson’s Tribute Center (Funerals • Receptions • Cremations), 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River. Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to leave a note of condolence for the family.
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