Obituary: Dr. Gene A. St. Clair
Family doctor, US Navy vet, outdoorsman, volunteer
Dr. Eugene (Gene) A. St. Clair was born in the Philippines on February 28, 1924, to Florence Case St. Clair and Dr. Roy St. Clair, both of La Verne, California. He died on his 95th birthday.
In 1942, after graduating from Bonita High School, Gene attended Pomona College. He joined the V12 training program for officers in the United States Navy and in 1943 transferred to Occidental College for one more year of college before attending Baylor Medical School in Houston, Texas.
In June 1947, before completing medical school, he married Virginia Kendrick of La Verne. While he was in residency at Los Angeles County General Hospital, the navy called Gene into service for the Korean War.
Gene and Virginia enjoyed 65 years of marriage and together raised four children, Mary Ann, Susan, James and Tom.
From 1953 through 1986, Dr. St. Clair practiced medicine as a family doctor in La Verne, Pomona and Claremont. He served on the staff of Pomona Valley Community Medical Center and remained active as a Physician Emeritus until his death.
In retirement, he remained active as medical director for three skilled nursing facilities, worked with the Red Cross as an instructor and in their community health clinics, volunteered with the Boy Scouts of America, and actively participated in the Rotary Club.
Dr. St. Clair was an active lifetime member of Pilgrim Congregational Church in Pomona, where he sang in the choir, was a member of “Side by Side” couples club, served as camp doctor for the Boy’s Brigade, and helped sort donated items and sell plants at Pilgrim Church’s semi-annual rummage sales.
He was an avid outdoorsman, loved to backpack and hike, and belonged to a hiking group for many years. His vast knowledge of trees, shrubs, wildflowers, birds, geology and astronomy enriched the experiences for all those having the privilege to spend time with him in the great outdoors.
He not only knew about nature, he also enjoyed experiencing it with culinary practices. He cured olives he harvested from local neighborhood trees, made horehound candy from local natural plants, and chewed on pine needles and other edible wild plants.
He expressed himself best through his poetry, from curious and humorous observations on life to his awe of God’s creation. He shared his love of performing on stage and gardening with his fellow residents at Mt. San Antonio Gardens.
“Gene and Virginia enjoyed spending time together and with family, whether hiking, collecting rocks, reading, or relaxing in their high-desert house near Phelan, California,” his family shared.
They also enjoyed traveling, on road trips and on far-off adventures. They were always happy to be back home to enjoy being with local family and friends.
Dr. St. Clair is survived by three of his four children, their spouses, six grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and his second wife, Ruth.