Obituary Notices and Memorials


BRECKNER, Gene N. Born May 23, 1949 in Seattle, Washington passed away peacefully in his sleep Monday Oct. 19, 2015 from complications related to a 7 year fight against chondrosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. Gene spent his early years along with his sister and parents in Santa Monica, Calif, which gave him his everlasting love of the ocean and all things connected to it. Even after relocating to the east coast in 1962, which both Breckner siblings always agreed was the ideal move to make at the time, he eventually returned to his California roots. Gene served in the Navy for 2 years active duty as a postal officer on board an aircraft carrier stationed in the Mediterranean during the Viet Nam years, and then another 2 years as a reservist, where he was known to appear for meetings with his long hair tucked under a wig. Shortly thereafter, he returned to the San Fernando Valley, where he roomed with several buddies from the service and attended classes at Pierce College. It was here that Gene discovered a love for photography, which led to graduation from the San Francisco Art Institute, and finally to the Antelope Valley. Gene was hired at the Antelope Valley Press as a part time photographer in 1979, and retired as the Photo Editor in 2009. During his tenure the paper entered the age of digital photography. Old time employees remember that poker parties at the house of Vern Lawson were an institution and the Sports Department was led by Mike Peck, one of Gene's dearest friends, who we would like to think was waiting to greet him on his final journey. Gene loved the beach, Springsteen, Buffett, riding waves, hiking, and watching his son Brian play any sport. He loved watching sports with his dad and thought his dad was the smartest man he had ever known, and that he and his sister had been blessed with the best parents ever. He loved his wife and son, and all the various animals that shared their lives through the years. He loved his parents, his sister Carol, his nephew Josh. He loved drinking bourbon and soda at Anthony's in San Diego. He loved life. He will be missed. Gene is survived by his wife Cathi and son Brian of Palmdale; sister Carol Breckner and son Josh Smith in Tucson; close friends Ronnye Bertoglio of Tucson and John Innis of Hermosa Beach as well as many other family and friends around the country. A memorial service will be held at a future date and Gene's ashes will be returned to the ocean he loved so much.

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