Eugene V. Bourque Jr., passed away on November 30th at age 89.
Eugene was born on Feb 17, 1931 in Albany, NY to Eugene V. Bourque Sr. and Lola (Barnhart) Bourque. Married 68 years, he is survived by his loving wife Gloria (Smith) Bourque, son David Bourque and his wife Laura, daughter Susan Bourque and her husband Bill Schoenfeld, four grandchildren: Michael Bourque, Rochelle (Bourque) Ward, Noah and Gabriel Schoenfeld and great grandson Greyson Bourque. He is preceded in death by his parents and older brother Alan J. Bourque.
Eugene graduated from Vincentian Institute in 1949, attended Siena College and after serving in the Navy Reserves, went into the insurance field working for Continental Insurance Company where he worked as a valued bondsman until retirement. A talented musician, he played tenor and alto saxophone, upright bass and sang vocals. Eugene had a natural talent for harmony and improvisation. Beginning at age 16, and spanning most of his life, Eugene was a musician in several regional bands including the Or’kets, the Harry Raymond Orchestra and Jack Dugan and Company. They performed jazz standards and popular music at dance halls, community events and weddings throughout the greater Capital region and well-known resorts in the Catskill Mountains. His family is particularly proud of his performance on the concourse of the Empire State Plaza. He always loved music and was very fond of Oscar Peterson, Charlie Parker, Cannonball Adderley and Nancy Wilson. He had many lifelong friends who also shared his love of music and performing.
He is remembered for his easy banter, positive outlook on life, great sense of humor and fun loving spirit. He was the champion at neighborhood flashlight tag. Gene and Gloria were childhood sweethearts; he called her his ‘sweet lips’ all throughout their long marriage. Eugene and Gloria purchased a summer camp on Brant Lake, NY in 1968 which continues to be cherished to this day. He enjoyed fishing, target shooting, darts, backyard birding, cards with family and friends and exploring natural and historic places. He loved using sayings and here is one of his favorites, “When an old man dies it’s like burning down a library”. We lost much more than that. Gene was kind, generous and content with his life. When asked if he needed anything would reply “Just a few kind words”