Gene Gonzalez, 1987-2009

Gene Gonzalez died on Sunday, December 27, 2009. He was 22 years old. Courtesy photo.

Gene JD Gonzalez, also known as “Weenie,” passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, Dec. 27, 2009. Gene was born in Ukiah, Calif., on Oct. 28, 1987. He was 22 years old.

He is survived by his mother and stepfather, Tammy Sue Sloan and Heriberto Romero-Robles of Laytonville, and his father, Arturo Ramos Gonzalez of Ukiah; his brothers, Arturo Jr. (Michelle Sotelo), Serafin, and Marcos Antonio Gonzalez; his sisters, Arica Lopez (Sam Martinez), Jennifer Sloan (Jesse Martinez) and Melissa Gonzalez; and his faithful canine companion, Yayo.

He leaves behind his grandparents, Wynema Sloan of Willits, Gene and Alice Sloan of Laytonville, and Maria Ramos of Cloverdale; his aunts, Melody Sloan, Tonya Rodriguez, Leticia, Lupe and Marivel Gonzalez; his uncles, Arnulfo and Raul Gonzalez, Sergio Rodriguez and Nathan Langton all of Ukiah, Trent Campbell of Laytonville, Mark Britton of Covelo, Eric Langton (Danielle) of Upper Lake; numerous cousins and friends. He also leaves behind his longtime girlfriend, Jane Tolbert, her parents David and Kathy Tolbert and her siblings, Davis and Jessie.

Gene was predeceased by his grandfather, Serafin Gonzalez; his aunts, Deana Campbell and Renee Sloan; and his cousin, Aaron Campbell.

Gene loved being near the ocean where he would spend his time camping, fishing and catching abalone with family and friends. Gene participated in most sports and at an early age began playing youth football with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Activity League’s Laytonville Raiders and Youth Soccer. He loved wiffle ball and video games, skateboarding and also participated in Little League and BMX. While attending Laytonville High School he was an avid wrestler and continued playing football.

Gene was proud of his Native American heritage and in keeping with his tribal traditions he recently cut his beautiful long hair for his Aunt Deana to take with her on her journey crossing over. As a young teen, he would literally run the Cahto Coast Walk from Wilderness Lodge Road to the Mendocino Coast and danced with the bears as his ancestors had done before him.

Gene’s vibrant smile could light up your world from most worries and whenever he saw you he joked with you or threw you the peace sign in passing.

The viewing will be at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009, at the family home, located at 305 Creekside Drive, Laytonville, Calif.

Funeral services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009, at Harwood Hall, 44400 Willis Ave., Laytonville. Calif. Burial will be at the Cahto Cemetery.

For those who wish to donate in lieu of flowers please send donations to The Cahto Tribe Red Road Program, P.O. Box 1239, Laytonville, CA  95454.