Longtime Juneau resident Eugene "Gene" Dau died in the early morning hours of Nov. 29, 2008, at his home. He was 76.
Born May 11, 1932, in Lynd, Minn., to George and Lois Dau, he had three sisters and two brothers. Following high school, where he played basketball and football, he entered the military and served in Korea. Upon his return, he married Marian Wambeke on his birthday, May 11, 1953.
He attended Oklahoma A&M Tech, then returned to his military service, this time the Air Force. He was honorably discharged following the discovery of an uncorrectable medical condition he suffered after being injured in Korea.
They lived in Minnesota until he, his wife and three boys moved to Everett, Wash., then to Juneau to accept a position with the U.S. Postal Service, where he worked for 28 years. During this time, he became president of the Alaska Postal Workers Union.
Family said he was known to many for his smile and genuine inquiries into local families at the counter, and his patient and thorough support of those needing union assistance.
He was a tireless volunteer lobbyist for postal workers' rights and also became a volunteer lobbyist for Alaska's senior citizens. He also was well known in Sen. Ted Steven's office.
He was an active member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Disabled Veterans organization, the Cathedral of the Nativity, the American Postal Workers Union, Pioneers of Alaska, the Capital City Task Force and the Moose Lodge. He also looked forward to the AARP Gift Wrap event every year so that he could visit with friends and raise funds for AARP.
He will be remembered for playing accordion for his grandchildren and for gathering the neighborhood for an afternoon of Starr Hill music, food and dancing. He enjoyed fishing and traveling, especially to Mexico, Hawaii and Minnesota to visit family. He was an avid bowler and took every opportunity to improve his golf game, his family said.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Wayne Dau; and sister, Darlene Snyder.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Marian Dau; brother, Dick Dau and wife, Marion, of Juneau; sisters, Arlene Lesewski and husband, Tom, of Minnesota, and Donna Cultra and husband, Terrance, of Illinois; sons, David Dau and wife, Judy, of Sitka, Michael Dau and wife, Cynthia, of Juneau, and Paul Dau, of Kodiak; grandchildren, Ginger, Crystal, David, Jana, Maraya, Miranda, Brenda, Wendy, Camille and Rory Dau; one great-grandchild; and extended family, including many nieces, nephews, colleagues and dear friends.
A memorial service will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, at the Cathedral of the Nativity, immediately followed by a reception at the hall. All family, friends and acquaintances are invited.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hospice & Home Care of Juneau, 419 Sixth St., Juneau, AK 99801. The family may be contacted at 6022 Gull Way, Juneau, AK 99801.