Oct. 18, 1934 - Nov. 5, 2010
Emmett Gene Rapp passed away on Nov. 5,2010, at the ripe age of 76 doing something that he loved. "Gino," as he was known by many of his friends in Walla Walla, passed away from a heart attack that occurred during a great round of golf on his favorite course near his home in Terrebonne, Oregon.
Mr. Rapp was born in Stover, Mo., on Oct. 18, 1934 in a one room house without electricity which had been built by his father. Gene and his younger sister Joyce Meier were raised in Shawnee Mission, Kan., by their loving parents Lloyd and Helen Rapp. Mrs. Meier, who was also his lifetime friend, lives with her husband Paul in Tyler, Texas.
While in high school, Gene ran track and played basketball, but it was through his teenage years that he worked as a caddy and he realized that his favorite sport was golf. After his graduation from high school, the young man joined the United States Navy. As a land-locked sailor who never spent a night on a ship in his life, Chief Petty Officer Rapp served his country as a draftsman before retiring in 1971. As a member of the navy golf team, Gene traveled around the world temporary-duty representing the United States by playing golf in several countries, including Greece and Germany. He helped to design a golf course on a naval base in Sicily.
In 1958, Gene met and married Anita Henkel. While they lived around the world and in several different states, the Rapps raised their two children together; daughter Terri, and son Keith. Lured by the abundance of golf courses and the love of relatives, the Rapp family eventually settled down in Glendale, Arizona after Gene's retirement from the navy.
In Arizona, the avid pro-am golfer, who would score four holes-in-one in his lifetime, played hard and worked harder. Gene was employed full-time as a graphic illustrator for Honeywell and pursued his college education as a part-time student. He graduated from Grand Canyon Community College in Phoenix with a degree in art.
As a long-time resident of Arizona, Gene got to watch his first grandchild, Justin, grow while he shared in good times and created lasting memories with Terri and one of his best friends; his son-in-law Chuck Smith.
In 1990, Gene pulled up stakes and relocated from Phoenix to Walla Walla so that he could spend time with his son and grandchildren, Hayden and Carly Rapp. Gene found a niche for his graphic talents which happened to be a good match for his recreational pursuits; he worked part-time among his many friends at Inland Printing. When he wasn't golfing or working, Gene spent time at the VFW and the Eagles. But, his favorite hangout was the Pacific Express.
While living in Walla Walla Gene met and fell in love with his companion and the best friend for the rest of his life, Winifred Chamberlain. The couple moved from the area into a beautiful home above their favorite golf course in Crooked River Ranch just below Madras, Oregon. The last years of Gene's life were spent in pure bliss as he and Winn golfed, and spent time together with their friends and family; human and feline alike. After he met Winn, Gene discovered a new-found love for his four-legged friends.
Please feel free to join Gene's children and friends during a celebration of his life in Walla Walla that will be held at the Pacific Express Lounge on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010 at 6 p.m. A memorial service will also be held at Crooked River Ranch Golf Course in Oregon on Sunday,
November 14, 2010 at3 p.m.