October 16, 1935 — July 27, 2019
Eugene “Gene” Robertson was born October 16, 1935, in Tappan, New York, to Berenice and James Robertson.
He passed away peacefully at the Samaritan Evergreen Hospice House on July 27, 2019.
He left school at the age of 17 and joined the Air Force in February 1953, where he earned his GED. He took a break of service from 1957 to 1961 and then reentered the Air Force. While in the Air Force, he served as a flight engineer and traveled throughout the world on aircrew.
While in Vietnam in 1967-1968, he served with the 12th Air Commando Squadron (Ranch Hands), where he was exposed to Agent Orange, for which he later participated in the 20-year Air Force Health Study. One of the planes he flew missions on in Vietnam had the nickname of Patches because of the shots it took while in flight and it is now at the AF Museum at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio. The aircraft he flew on during his career included RB 50, C-124, C-123, and C-141.
At 16 years of service, he was crossed-trained as a pharmacy technician. He retired as a Technical Sergeant in February 1977 with 20 years of service. His awards and decorations included The Distinguished Flying Cross and 11 Air Medals.
He married Jean Chambers in July 1977. They continued their Air Force affiliation as she continued her Air Force career until retiring in 1992.
He drove professionally as a tour bus driver and owned his own tractor trailer while living in Maryland, Illinois and Texas. He moved to Corvallis in 1993 and drove school bus until 2006.
He is a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Air Force Sergeants Association and Distinguished Flying Cross Society.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his wife, Jean Chambers; mother-in-law, Dorothy Chambers; sisters-in-law, Beth Stevens and Oleta Niderost; brothers-in-law, Tony McMorris and Richard Stevens; nine nephews and nieces; and seven great-nephews and nieces.
Graveside burial services with military honors will be at the Willamette National Cemetery.
McHenry Funeral Home is handling arrangements.
In lieu of flowers a contribution to Gene’s favorite charity is suggested. Donations can be sent to the VFW National Home for Children, 3573 South Waverly Road, Eaton Rapids, MI 48827.