Gene Clauson, 1955-2016

gene clausonSeveral of my friends and acquaintances have passed from this world this year. Most recently was country music artist Holly Dunn, whom I got to know more than 25 years ago when I was still doing radio.

And nearly four months ago, my friend as well as my son’s god-father, Gene Clauson passed away.  It happened suddenly and came as a shock that left me more than a little rattled as I found myself looking hard at my mortality.

And in all honesty, I’m jus’ now getting beyond the grief enough to write about him, though I had written a piece of fiction about him a few years back with the hope of snapping him back to his senses.  You see, Gene was an addict and his addiction had a strangle hold on him and he was in a deep depression.

It was during the height of his depression that he told me he was going to sell everything, buy a ticket to Europe, backpack around the continent for a year and then end his life with a ‘hot shot’.  After hearing this, I wrote that short-story sharing my idea of what this world would be like without him.

Moved by the reality I laid out, he decided he wanted to make a change in his life. That’s when he began the long, hard journey to get clean and I was so proud of him.

His three daughters and I are still in touch with one another through Facebook, which I’m thankful for nearly everyday. Anyway, I wrote Gene’s obituary for them as a way of soothing my hurt and taking some of the pressure off them.

Though simple, I’d like to share it:

Gene Clauson passed away suddenly at his home in Hayward, California on August 26, 2016 at the age of 61. He was born to Rosa Marie Haberman and Dale Larry Clauson in Hayward, California on March 12, 1955.

Gene attended various grade and high schools in the Bay Area. He worked radio broadcasting in Reno, Nevada and later as a club DJ in Tampa, Florida, before returning to California to continue his education as a substance abuse counselor.

Gene is preceded in death by his parents and step-parents. He is survived by his daughters; Elyse (Clauson) Fryling, her husband, Dustin and granddaughters, Alyssa and Rylee of Medford, Oregon; Lauren Clauson and grand daughters Sierra, Ella, and Kand of Lake view, Colorado; and Renee Clauson, of Central Point, Oregon.

If his death hurts like hell for me, I can only image how his girls must feel.

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About Tom Darby

French-born, American-raised, U.S. citizen, husband, father, friend, veteran, and writer.
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