Virgil Eugene "Gene" Adkins - 1926-2019

Virgil Eugene "Gene" Adkins died on November 12, 2019, at Vineyard Heights Assisted Living in McMinnville, surrounded by his loving family.

Virgil was born in Pasco, Washington, on July 16, 1926, to Florence (Shillam) and Victor Adkins. He enjoyed a happy childhood as the oldest of three brothers, riding his bicycle around town and sharing adventures with Harold and Keith.

After serving in the Army from 1945 to 1947, he attended college at Washington State University in Pullman, Washington. While attending a fall "mixer" on campus, he met the woman who would become his soulmate for the next 71 years.

Virgil married Dorothy "Dot" Jean Buckingham on December 19, 1948, in Seattle, Washington. From 1948 to 1960, they made their home in Seattle, where Virgil worked as an airplane mechanic at Boeing Field. During that time, they welcomed five children into their lives.

In 1960, the family moved to California, where Virgil attended college to get a teaching degree. After graduation, he taught for two years in Arbuckle, California, and then moved to McMinnville in 1965 to begin a long and successful career at Dayton Grade School. He was a caring and generous teacher, and enjoyed introducing the game of wall ball to the students at recess. Virgil loved the game of handball, and was also an avid swimmer who was a regular at the early morning swim for decades.

His retirement years were spent traveling with Dot in their beloved VW camper. They also enjoyed overseas travel, and had a special fondness for Greece, which they visited many times. Virgil was very active with Habitat For Humanity, and helped to build many of the houses in McMinnvilIe.

His sense of humor and ready smile were legendary, and his heart as big as the sky. He had a way of making a person feel precious in his presence. He made the world a better place, and those whose lives he touched are forever grateful. Bless his heart.

He leaves behind his loving wife, Dot; children, Vicki (Dan) Pierson, Tim Adkins, Tom (Deb) Adkins, Donna (Tom) Rankin and Joan (Scott) Sterling; and brother Keith (Sharon) Adkins. He was the proud and loving grandpa of 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren, who will hold his memory in their hearts.

A private family service is planned for a later date.

Contributions in his memory can be made to Habitat For Humanity or the Library Foundation of McMinnville. Please send to Joan Sterling, 13855 N.W. Willis Rd., McMinnville, OR 97128.


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