Photography

Eugene W. Houser

February 6, 1948 ~ March 17, 2020 (age 72)

Tribute

For every good story, there are usually a few different versions. In the story of Eugene Houser's life, he was born in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, to Willard and Anna Mae Houser. He met Janet Davis at Azusa Pacific University, and they were married in 1970. In their 40 years of living in Modesto CA, they raised three sons and were very involved in the Free Methodist Church, where they made many lifelong friends. Although he had a degree in biology and experience as a chemistry and physics teacher, Eugene was happiest running his own company as a painting contractor. After retiring in 2012, he and his wife moved to Kila, MT and fulfilled a lifelong dream of living in the mountains, where their home was always full of family and friends.

That's one version of Eugene's life story. But he was also quite a storyteller. If you asked him about his life, he would tell you that as an exceptionally brilliant child, he amassed a small fortune mowing his neighbors' lawns. He would recount his great adventures exploring the Amazon jungle with his good pal, the Queen of England. And don't forget that time he broke out of a Mexican jail. (He was framed!) His most cherished advice to his grandkids was "Quit being weird." Eugene also claimed to be a 10 time World Champion BBQ Master, and he often said he learned it all "in the Army." (By the way, he was never in the Army.) If you haven't realized yet, he was the original source of fake news!

But the truth about Eugene Houser is that he was a greatly loved and respected man. He had a generous heart and gave freely of his time to mentor many people, personally and professionally. He was extremely diplomatic, and always found kind and compassionate ways to express himself. Eugene was a musician, designer, painter, builder, writer, entrepreneur, humorist, sportsman, philosopher, sunday school teacher, wine connoisseur, and Blues Brothers fanatic! He had a dry, witty sense of humor, and a hearty laugh that would, on occasion, turn his cheeks bright red. Eugene was extremely proud of his three sons and their families, and nothing gave him more joy than playing with his grandchildren.

He is survived by wife Janet, sons Jason (Greg Lewis), Stephen (Heidi Borg), Michael (Sarah Greenfield) and grandchildren Hudson, Clyde, Mason, and Adelaide.

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