GENE P. LAFOLLETTE OBITUARY
Gene P. LaFollette
11/29/1943 – 04/15/2022
Resident of Alameda, California
It is with the heaviest of hearts, we say goodbye to Gene P. LaFollette, a husband, brother, father, grandfather and friend. Gene was born on November 29, 1943 in Dallas, Texas and passed away on April 15, 2022 at home in Alameda, surrounded by his loving family. Gene courageously fought a year and a half-long battle with cancer.
He is survived by his loving wife, Carolyn; his children, Melissa (Brian) Cooke, Matt (Corrine), Allison Catanzarite (Doug), James, and Madelyn; his siblings, Phyllis Bell (late Billy), Linda Figg (Chris), Larry (Brenda) and Philip (Bobby Jo); brothers-in-law Gary (Kathy) Baumgartner and Tim Lawler, Uncle James McKenna and his wife, Myrna. He is also survived by seven grandchildren and one granddaughter on the way.
Gene received his B.A. in history at University of Kansas in 1965 and was forever a Jayhawk fan. He attended UC Hastings College of The Law in San Francisco and was admitted to the California State Bar in 1969. Gene was an officer in the United States Army. From 1971-1981, he worked at the Alameda County Public Defender’s Office. From 1981-1999, he and his colleagues started a law practice in Oakland, CA. In 1999, he opened his own office in Alameda, CA and practiced for 23 years, assisting many in need of legal advice and representation. Gene was certified by the Administrative Office of the Courts, Center for Judicial Education and Research as a pro tem judge and taught law courses at a local university and college. He was a member of the California Bar Association, Alameda County Bar Association, Kiwanis Club of Alameda and served as the Alameda Golf Club Legal Advisor, on the Da Vinci Center for Gifted Children Advisory Board and as a UC Hastings College of Law advisor.
He was a superb storyteller and would captivate all those who listened with tales of his growing up in Kansas and other events in his life. He was always willing to give advice!
He enjoyed golf, reading, singing and dancing, and watching sports. He especially enjoyed watching athletic events and dance recitals in which his children were participating. He never missed an event. During his last days, he got to watch his alma mater; University of Kansas Jayhawks win the 2022 NCAA tournament surrounded by his family – Rock Chalk Jayhawk!
Gene will be greatly missed by family, friends and colleagues. We will celebrate his life with a memorial mass on Saturday, July 23 at 10 AM at St. Philip Neri Church, 3100 Van Buren St, Alameda, CA.
In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to the CAR-T Program at Alta Bates Summit’s Comprehensive Cancer Center (CCC). With thanks to Dr. Rajesh Behl and his staff for their wonderful care of Gene, this program continues research into blood cancers and treatment. Thanks also to Dr. Mary Fisher and ProHealth Care for their time spent with Gene. For details, view online at www.alamedafuneral.org. For further information please call, Harry Greer, Funeral Director (FDR-745).