Penny Drost (Drost)
Submitted by his sister, Donna Soderberg
Deceased Classmate: Gene Soderberg
Date Of Birth: February-11-1947
Date Deceased: May-01-2012
Age at Death: 65
Cause of Death: Pneumonia
Classmate City: Vancouver, B. C.
Classmate State: BC
Classmate Country: Canada
Was a Veteran: No
Survived By: David Soderberg, older brother; Donna Marie Soderberg, older sister.
Eugene was my best friend. When I was three I'd sit by his crib just to enjoy his presence. He was independent from the get go: he prepared his own baby bottles starting at one and a half! Our father left us early. My mother had to go to work, taking care of dying children, working rotating shifts. So Eugene had to raise himself. He helped rescue cats and feed them. He'd help strangers and give Christmas presents to needy children. He was wise and gentle. As an adult if I got my feelings hurt during the day, I'd call him at night. He'd listen to me, then with a sentence shed light on the meaning of what happened; the pain in my heart would dissolve and I'd be restored and laughing again. He lived with a brittle case of diabetes for 25 years. When he was in the hospital for the last time we calculated that he had had to give himself 33,000 (!) injections of insulin, yet he never complained or grumbled. I miss him and will be overjoyed to see him again. He was an artist, made beautiful wood sculptures and acrylic spheres that change colors and patterns in the sun. If anyone loves art and knew Gene I'd be happy to send them a work of his art.
Sorry to hear about Gene. The last time I saw him I literally "bumped" into him in Haight-Ashbury back in, oh, say, about 1967-68. He had journeyed there to experience the craziness of the California psychodelic free love LSD world. I was "touristing" as an interested college student with sympathies towards the movement. Gene was trying to experience everything and live life to the fullest. I don't know what happened to him after that, but I suspect he continued to stretch boundaries and find new avenues of exploration. Good for you, Gene. I hope your life was a full one. To his sister: if you have some pictures of his work, I would love to see them. firstname.lastname@example.org