Santa Clara Magazine is published in print for alumni and friends of the University. It is updated weekly on the web.
Eugene Edward Kloppenburg ’43, devoted husband and father of six, died peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, at the age of 90 on November 12, 2009, in Sacramento, Calif. Eugene was born in San Francisco to Eugene C. and Ana Belford Kloppenburg on May 11, 1919. He was buried at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery in Dixon, California, on November 19, 2009. Gene is survived by his wife Vera; his children Ruth Olivas, Susan Price, Peter, Anne, Jane and Thomas; his son-in-law Ralph Price; his grandchildren Jason, Cynthia, Sarah, and Susie; and his great-grandchildren Sayde, Elsa, Eli and Eden. Gene, a third-generation Californian, graduated from St. Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco and attended Santa Clara University where his engineering studies were cut short by his decision to enlist in the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet. He later went on to serve in the European Theatre of World War II as a communications officer with the rank of 1st Lieutenant. After returning from overseas in 1946 to his young wife of three years, his beloved Vera, and his first-born child, he resumed his job with Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co. begun one year prior to his enlistment, and remained with the company until his retirement in 1977 as a staff engineer. Of the many jobs Gene held after retirement from Pacific Telephone, his last job at Emigh Hardware gave him the most joy and satisfaction. Gene was a gifted pianist and vocalist, and an accomplished illustrator and draftsman. He had a passion for building and woodworking – creating bookcases, furniture, patios, and landscapes, even building his own stereo system; and a great love for growing things – fruit, vegetables, and flower gardens of exquisite beauty. He also developed and printed his own photographs and enjoyed sailing his Santana 20 on Folsom Lake with his son and daughters. Gene was a gentleman in the truest sense of the word. He was courageous, compassionate, and selfless to his last day. His lifelong devotion was always to his family and his home.