Gene Rauch, longtime Paso Robles businessman, age 86, passed away peacefully at home on December 26, 2019 after a short period of illness. 

Gene’s life was full and long, and he dealt with the world around him with an easy-going trust, and enthusiasm.  He had a gentle, warm way of affirming others, and those who knew him well, often heard his highest praise, “It’s a home run!”

Gene was born to parents Chancy and Pauline Rauch on Oct 23rd, 1933 in Estherville Iowa. When he was 10 years old, his family traveled all the way to California in a 1936 ford which he still has. After high school in Paso Robles, Gene served in the US Army at Ft Knox, Kentucky during the Korean Airlift Crisis. On his return to Paso, he tried out several trades including a mercury mining venture with his brother, Vern, his “best buddy for life.” Ultimately, Gene took over his father’s shop in Paso Robles, and established Gene’s Upholstery where he toiled happily for over 56 years.  A very few people still begin an early work day with gusto at age 85, but that was Gene!  He taught himself the art of upholstery, did impeccable work, could handle even the largest of upholstery projects. He always gave his customers real value for their money. 

During this time, he married his wife, Lois.  They were together for 35 years until Lois’s death in 1999. He often said that they were truly a team in business and pleasure. They took many cross-country trips together making antique collecting stops along the way, and scouting possibilities to fuel their love of collecting and restoring classic cars. Gene was most proud of building his 1932 Ford Coup street rod with a 392 hemi engine.  This car won a number of trophies at the Boise Car Show, and was always a source of enjoyment for Gene.

Always a person who cared deeply, Gene experienced profound and lasting grief at the passing of those who were close to him. But somehow, he maintained a zest for the future and its promise. In his later years, Gene continued to find satisfaction working in his shop, and enjoying many wonderful adventures with his girlfriend of 17 years, Vivian.

A uniquely kind and generous spirit, Gene will be greatly missed by all.

Gene is survived by his sister, Faye Duniven and her husband, Gary; his nephew, James Rauch, (Blair); niece Jessica Markley (Tyler); niece Jeanna Coleman (Ross); niece Teresa  (Paul); niece Jill Carter (Jeff); niece Rhonda Avery; and nephew Mark Blair (Cindy). He also leaves behind his dear friend, Vivian Van Horn and Mikayla Rowlett, and devoted friends: Bob & Dawn Steuwer and Raymond & Pam Pesenti. He is preceded in death by his father, Chancy; his mother, Pauline; his wife, Lois; his brother, Vern; his sister, Mary; and his nephew, Bryan.

Services will be private, at Gene’s request.