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Olbert Eugene Lively
Sept. 6, 1928 Oct. 18, 2009
O. E. “Gene” Lively passed away peacefully in his Arnold, Calif. home with his family by his side. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24 at Turlock Memorial Park and Funeral Home. Private interment will be held at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery.
Gene was born to George and Linnie Marie Lively in Sheldon, Mo. His family moved to Porterville, Calif. in 1933, where he attended school. In 1946, he enlisted in the Army and served until being honorably discharged due to his father’s diagnosis of cancer in 1948. He settled back in Porterville and began his long career in the lumber business by logging and working in the Springville area.  
He came to Ceres in 1949 to take a temporary position with Diamond Match Company that lasted 16 years. There he met his future partner, Rudy Strunk, with whom he left Diamond to build Valley Distributors, Inc. in Turlock. He enjoyed much success and made lifetime friends during his tenure in the lumber business.  
He retired in 1993, and sold Valley Distributors to his then partners, Danny Mendoza and Danny Vierra, in 1996. Gene’s love of trees continued when after retirement, he convinced his loving wife of 33 years Kaytee to move to the mountains, trees and golf courses of Arnold. They have resided there for the past 13 years.  
Gene enjoyed many hobbies, including driving race cars, motorcycles, Jeeps and Big Berthas. His latest favorite was driving a bright orange 1927 Model T to various car shows and in parades around the state. He was a member of Sequoia Woods Country Club, Turlock Golf and Country Club, past president of the Denair Lions Club, Modesto 4 Wheelers, and various lumber associations.
He is survived by his wife, Kaytee; daughter, Kelley Day, and her husband, Alan; grandchildren, Austin, Mitchell and Rachel Day, Christin Clark Gomes, Jonathan, Kaytlynn and Brooke Clark; great grandsons, Mark and Kurtis Gomes; sister, Juanita Waibl; sister-in-law, Arlene Linhares and her husband, Gary; and many extended family members.  
Gene was preceded in death by son, Kurtis Clark; and brother-in-law, Johnny Waibl.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Vna Hospice of Sonora, P.O. Box 4805, Sonora, CA 95370 or Denair Education Foundation, P.O. Box 213, Denair, CA 95316.