DOWNEY – Eugene Charles Pemberton and Donna Lee Wall grew up in Venice, Calif. They both attended Venice High School and, not long after graduating, married on November 23, 1956.
After living in Gene’s parents’ camping trailer for a short time, they moved to an apartment in Venice prior to the birth of their son, Alan, in 1957. Soon after they moved to Norwalk during which time their daughter, Diana, was born in 1962.
In 1963, they moved to Downey so Gene could be closer to work at the Pronto Market on Downey Avenue. Gene’s store management job turned in to an executive career at the newly renamed company, Trader Joe’s, where he worked 40 years until his retirement.
Gene was an outstanding fast-pitch softball pitcher and bowls regularly. He may be the only person to roll a 300 game both right and left handed.
Donna performed in plays at the Downey Theater, participates in dance classes, and also bowls. They were both very active with their children and members of the Downey Methodist Church, where Donna sang in the choir for many years. She is also a two-time cancer survivor.
Gene and Donna got their own trailer for family camping trips, to places like Lake Casitas, Bridgeport and Twin Lakes. Later, that trailer turned into a motorhome which they enjoyed on regular monthly outings with family and friends for decades.
Through work related trips, Gene and Donna traveled to Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, England and France. On their own, they have been on a number of cruises, the last of which was to Alaska.
As both of their children also live in Downey, Gene and Donna have been able to watch their three grandchildren Shelby, Whitney and William grow up, attending their sporting events and sharing in all of their other accomplishments.
Congratulations Gene and Donna on 60 years of marriage, and many more to come.