The following obituary was provided by the family:
Eugene Forrest Jenne, age 81 died April 29, 2011 at home in Talkeetna, Alaska after an extended illness. A memorial service to share his life will be held Saturday, May 28, 2011 at the Talkeetna Elementary School at 2 pm.
Gene was born in Burlington, Washington to Rufus and Cornelia Jenne February 9, 1930. At the early age of 6 weeks the family moved to Mt Point, Alaska (near Ketchikan) where they lived until 1936, and then returned to Stanwood, Washington where Gene attended elementary school and Twin City High School.
Gene served in the US Army from 1951-1953 and then returned to Platinum, Alaska and worked for the Goodnews Bay Mining Company until 1974.
In 1974, the Jenne family moved to Talkeetna and owned and operated Three Rivers Tesoro and Twister Creek Fuel.
Gene is survived by his wife Rose, daughter Robin and son-in-law Larry Rivers, granddaughters Fern Rose and Robin Carol Spaulding.
Gene lived in Alaska 60 years and knew firsthand the importance of aviation to Alaska, especially in small villages. The Talkeetna Build-A-Plane project was important to Gene because not only was he a mechanic of everything, but he loved to fly, and was an accomplished bush pilot in Southwest Alaska. Furthermore, in Talkeetna, private, commercial, and military aviation was a significant part of the Jenne’s business. Finally, this past year, although Gene was not able to participate directly in the Talkeetna Build-A-Plane project, he remained keenly interested in its progress. We believe Gene would be proud to support a new generation of aviators and mechanics that are learning hands on, from the ground up, just like he did. In his memory, in lieu of flowers the family suggests that any donations in his honor be made to Talkeetna Build-A-Plane. This can be done by making checks payable to the umbrella organization: Northern Susitna Institute (Tax ID#20-4297821) and mailed to:
Attn: Gene Jenne Memorial
P.O. Box 762
Talkeetna, Alaska 99676
Talkeeetna Build-A-Plane is an organization that teaches kids real skills through hands-on building and repair of real airplanes. The money is used to purchase aircraft parts and aircraft repair tools for the students as they work on the aircraft.