Eugene “Gene” Marshall Cage, 89, passed away peacefully in the early morning of May 23, 2022 after a day spent surrounded by his family.
Gene was born on August 17, 1932, in Lynchburg, Virginia and spent his childhood in South Boston, VA. While attending college, at age 19, he was deployed to the demilitarized zone during the Korean War and quickly rose to the rank of staff sergeant in the U.S. Army, before being honorably discharged as the war was ending nearly two years later.
Upon his return, Gene worked in Virginia Beach for the summer where he met college student, and future wife, Mary Fleming. Charmed by her charisma and great sense of humor, Gene followed Mary to her hometown of Madison, Wisconsin where he returned to college and completed his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Wisconsin.
After starting their lives together in Madison, Gene and Mary pursued careers in the government. Gene joined the Department of Justice which took their family on a journey to Kansas, Illinois, Michigan, Florida, and California before he and Mary eventually retired to Phoenix, Arizona and took extended trips to Santa Barbara, CA to be near family.
Gene enjoyed running, swimming, bike riding, and weight training well into his eighties. He had a life long love of the water, whether he was playing in the creeks of Virginia as a young boy, lifeguarding at Virginia Beach, swimming in the warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico at his Florida home, or taking an early morning run along the Pacific Coast. He passed this passion on to his kids and grandkids; teaching them all to swim at an early age and fostering a love of the ocean and marine life. Gene was also known for telling a funny story; sometimes laughing so hard he could barely finish the punch line!
Gene is predeceased by his wife of 53 years, Mary Fleming Cage. He is survived by his son Michael Cage and wife Lynne of Santa Barbara, his daughter Catherine Cage of Arroyo Grande, CA, his grandchildren Kelsie and John Michael Cage, his sister-in-law Barbara Cage of Halifax, VA as well as many nieces and nephews. Per Gene’s wishes, a private memorial and celebration of life will be held at the National Memorial Cemetery in Cave Creek, Arizona at a future date.
The family would like to thank the team at Oak Cottage who helped care for Gene in his later years. In lieu of flowers, donations in remembrance of Gene may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, California Central Coast Chapter.