Obituary of Gene Fletcher
Gene was born on June 22, 1925 to Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin M. Fletcher (Irene V. Coyle) in East Orange, New Jersey. After graduation from East Orange High School in 1943 he entered the United States Naval Academy (Annapolis) and graduated on June 5, 1946 as an Ensign in the United States Navy. Among his classmates within the 15th Company at the U.S. Naval Academy was President Jimmy Carter. Gene retired from the Navy after 22-yrs of active service holding the rank of Commander.
Commander Fletcher served on the USS Purdy, USS Fairview County, USS K.M. Willet, USS Hugh Purvis and USS Randolph before becoming the Commanding Officer (Ships Captain) of the USS Conway (Destroyer). Between stints on the USS K.M. Willet and USS Hugh Purvis Commander Fletcher attended the U.S. Naval War College. Commander Fletcher also held various Engineering and Executive Officer roles during his Navy career, including a stint as Mechanical Officer to the Navy Special Weapons, Unit 802 and Special Unit, Pacific and 2-years in Turkey as the Engineering Advisor to Navy Group, the Joint U.S. Military Mission for aid to Turkey. Prior to retiring from the U.S. Navy, Commander Fletcher was assigned to the staff of Admiral T.H. Moorer, Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic.
Upon his retirement from the U.S. Navy Gene moved to Aptos, CA and met his wife Marjorie when they worked in Real Estate. A few short years later Gene and Marge retired from real estate and moved to Penn Valley to their home on the 18th tee at Lake Wildwood Golf Course. After 6-years in Penn Valley Gene and Marge decided to move back to Santa Cruz to their home across from Twin Lakes Beach/Santa Cruz Harbor, eventually making their home at Spring Lakes in Scotts Valley after 13-years at the beach house.
Gene enjoyed reading, travel, shuffle board, cocktail and dinner parties, which also included a very festive celebration of Saint Patrick's Day where Gene could be spotted wearing his green tie, suspenders, leprechaun derby and of course a cold Guinness. During the Army-Navy football game Gene could be easily spotted rooting on Navy, wearing his lucky Navy sweatshirt and hat. Travel to Spain, Greece, London and Italy along with autumn and spring treks to Solvang and Santa Barbara with his wife Marjorie were among Gene favorite trips as well as the annual summer vacation in Lake Tahoe with his family and Grandchildren featuring rafting trips down the Truckee River, lazy afternoons reading on the beach, an occasional round of golf and trips to the casino capped off by evening happy hour and BBQ's.
Gene is survived by his wife Marjorie Fletcher (Lamb), sons Patrick Fletcher of Washington and Paul Fletcher of Virginia Beach, stepsons Mike (Stacey) Tolaio of Scotts Valley, Jeff (Andrea) Tolaio of Santa Cruz and three grandchildren Bradley, Erica and Luca Tolaio. He is also survived by his brother and sister in law Benjamin M. and Mary Margaret Fletcher of Michigan, two sisters and brother in laws Mary Jo and Gil Reiner of Ostrander, Ohio, Jo Axt Gilsdorf of Marion, Ohio and sister-in-law Rosemarie Fletcher of New Jersey and many nieces and nephews. Gene was preceded in death by his father Benjamin M. Fletcher, mother Irene (Coyle), son Danny (age 5), step mother Josephine A. Fletcher and brother Frederick Fletcher of New Jersey.
Memorial Mass will be celebrated at San Agustin Church (257 Glenwood Dr, Scotts Valley, CA) on Friday, April 21st at 11:00am.
In lieu of flowers the family request that donations be made to any one of Gene's favorite charities: Jimmy Carter Foundation (The Carter Center, 453 Freedom Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30307), San Agustin Church (257 Glenwood Dr, Scotts Valley, CA 95066).
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