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    Pickett, Lawrence Eugene "Gene", age 92, of Balboa Island, CA, went to be with the Lord on July 30, 2013. Born in Kimball, Nebraska on November 20, 1920, Gene and his family, whose grocery business suffered during the Great Depression, sought new opportunities by moving west to California when Gene was 12. The family eventually settled in Long Beach where Gene attended Long Beach Poly High School. He played baseball and football and was a member of Comus Club. Most importantly, he met Betty May Long, a pretty cheerleader who would become his wife of 67 years until her passing in 2011. Upon graduation Gene earned an athletic scholarship to the University of California, Berkeley, where he majored in History and was a star football player for the Golden Bears. Gene and Betty married on June 27, 1944, and ten weeks later Gene went to serve in World War II as an Army infantry officer stationed in Italy. Upon his return, Gene worked for Schmidt Lithograph as a traveling salesman, often accompanied by his young family. In 1952 Gene struck out on his own when he acquired Marker's Preserving Kitchen. The business, adjacent to the family home in Downey, was well known for its unique handmade gift packs of homemade jams, jellies, and candied fruits. The success of this small business landed Gene on the cover of Business Week Magazine in 1959. Always community-minded, Gene served as president of the Rotary Club International in Downey and as Senior Warden on the Vestry of St. Mark's Episcopal Church. He eventually transitioned into commercial real estate and in 1967 moved to Balboa Island with Betty May where he lived the rest of his life. Always an athlete, he could often be found on the tennis courts at the Balboa Bay Club and at Sunrise Country Club at Rancho Mirage where he and Betty May enjoyed another community of friends. Additionally, through his membership in "Missing Links", his love of golf was coupled with lasting friendships. An accomplished watercolorist and prolific writer, Gene left abundant evidence of a creative and balanced life. To the family and friends who loved him, "Papa" and his dear "Mimi" will be most remembered for their hospitality, and the love, kindness, and generosity which literally hundreds of people found within their home. As the patriarch of the Pickett Family he instilled his values of integrity, loyalty, faith, and unconditional love to his four children: Mike, Kathy (Leedom), Chris (Steckel) and Todd. It is a legacy that will live on in his eight grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, and those still to come. A memorial service celebrating his life will be held at Mariner's Church Chapel in Irvine, CA on Monday, August 19th at 3:00 pm, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Gene's memory to the Wounded Warrior Project ( or 887-832-6997).

    Linked toLawrence Eugene PICKETT

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