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Gene Shoji was born in Oregon in 1941 prior to the United States' entry into World War II. He died July 11, 2019 in Coos Bay with his wife and son by his side.
Gene was placed in the Minidoka, Idaho Japanese Internment Camp with his parents and other Japanese Americans. His pre-school years were spent in the Camp; when the family was released, they came back to Oregon, where Gene spent the rest of his life. Gene attended elementary school in Nyssa and graduated from Burns Union High School in 1959. He graduated from Oregon State University with a B.S. in Business Education and a Master of Business Education.
Gene immediately started his first teaching position in Prineville. While teaching and coaching he met Crystal Roghair; they married in December 1970 in McMinnville, Oregon.
Gene taught high school business in Oregon at Crook County High School (1964-79) and Reedsport High School (1979-2000). He coached high school baseball, basketball, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and summer youth sports programs. His FBLA students achieved success in many district, state and national competitions. After retirement, Gene managed the SWOCC Business Development Center business startup program and coordinated an entrepreneurial business program through ONABEN, Native American Business Network.
Gene was active in the South Coast Running Club and Coos Country Club, where he continually showed a competitive spirit. He was proud of completing seven marathons and shooting three holes-in-one. He enjoyed following professional baseball, poring over box scores daily, but especially his favorite team the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After developing Frontotemporal Degeneration (FTD) in 2009, Gene enjoyed accompanying his son to Oregon State baseball and football games and many places around town, especially the movie theater and grocery store. Gene received excellent care from his morning caregivers who enjoyed his full-face smile and abundance of spirit.
Gene is survived by Crystal, his wife of 48 years; son, Christopher Shoji; brother, James and wife, Sally Shoji; brothers-in-law, James and wife, Elizabeth Roghair, Gene Roghair, Wallace Roghair and wife, Jeri Krier; nephew, Russell and wife, Rebekka Shoji; nieces, Lesley and husband Bill Berger, Jennifer and husband Shawn Easterling; nephews-in-law, Nicholas Roghair, David Roghair, Jonathan and wife, Rosi Roghair; and niece-in-law, Taylor Roghair.
A remembrance lunch and fellowship will be held at 1pm on Saturday, August 17th at Black Market Gourmet, 495 Central Avenue, Coos Bay. All who would like to share in honoring Gene's memory are welcome. Memorial contributions may be made to Shama House, Self-Help and Mutual Aid, P.O. Box 1013, North Bend, OR 97459 or a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are under the care of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131.
Friends and family are encouraged to sign the online guestbook at www.coosbayareafunerals.com