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Willow springs a strange island located off the coast of georgia and south carolina

February 17, — September 19, Gene M. Pecchia passed away peacefully on September 19th, in Spokane, WA.

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He graduated with the Eatonville High School class of During his childhood, he was the self-proclaimed class clown, enjoyed playing sports, and dreamed of becoming a fighter pilot.

So great was his resolve, he could legally fly a plane before he could drive. He went on to attend Seattle University, but soon thereafter returned to his passion for flying by enlisting in the United States Air Force. Once married, they lived in and traveled to many different places from England to South Carolina, and back to Washington.

Gene served his country with courage and honor for over 20 years as a fighter pilot. He flew combat missions during his two tours in the Vietnam War. Gene earned a Distinguished Flying Cross for demonstrating "exemplary courage and outstanding aerial skill" in completing a mission over North Vietnam on September 21st, Following his time in the Air Force, he joined the Air National Guard in Spokane WA, where he could focus on being both a pilot and a very present father to his four children.

On one occasion serving in the Air Guard, he was honored in the Spokane Newspaper for guiding a lost private pilot to the airport on a dark, cloudy night. And on another, he volunteered to make an urgent delivery of a respirator needed for a baby in Oregon. He picked the fastest plane available and it took him just ten minutes to deliver it from Geiger Field to Portland!

He retired from the Air Guard in Over the years, Gene pursued many passions and hobbies in his usual persistent manner. He exercised his love for flying by owning his own airplane for 30 years, including regular stops in Eatonville to visit family and attend class reunions.

Beekeeping, woodworking, gardening, fishing, and even crochet were some of his favorite hobbies, but his greatest passion was golf! He also enjoyed huckleberry picking and loved to make his signature huckleberry pie, always striving to strike the perfect balance between tart and sweet.

Each attempt was his own personal experiment, with his family being his taste-testers and the grandkids his occasional assistants. He will be greatly missed by his many friends and family. A Funeral Mass is to be held at 1 p.

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Interment with Military Honors at Eatonville Cemetery immediately following. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Parkinson's Disease Foundation.

To members of the Eatonville community you are "new" to the area the Pecchia family, Gene's parents Regina and Angelo, were business people for many decades. And, they were in a business everyone enjoyed immensely.

Before TV, long before computers and streaming films and videos, people escaped to the "movies" for entertainment. Gene's dad, Angelo, came to America from Italy in and after visiting various places settled for a time in Aberdeen, Washington where he joined the National Guard and worked in the shipyard helping the war effort during World War I.

After moving to Orting Angelo bought a candy store which led him on the path to his movie business.

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The man Angelo rented his candy store from was unable to repay a debt to Angelo and offered him the Orting movie theater which he owned to cancel the debt. Although Angell had never even seen a roll of film he took the offer and through the years built a sizable chain of theaters on this side of Mount Rainier.

In he bought the Eatonville theater before "talkies. In Angelo traveled back to Italy to visit relatives and returned with a wife, Regina.

Together the Pecchias raised their family, grew their ever - enlarging theater business and were a vital part of Eatonville's history.Sea Islands comprise a chain of more than low islands off the Atlantic coast of South Carolina, Georgia, and north Florida, extending from the Santee River in South Carolina, to the St.

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