Date Honored: February 2014
Eugene was born in Roswell, New Mexico, the fifth of six children born to Homer and Hettie Belle Read, and was raised in Carlsbad, New Mexico. He graduated from Carlsbad High School and then joined the Air Force soon thereafter. His first assignment was in Japan as part of the national rebuilding efforts of the 5th Air Force. After various assignments in other locations (including two in Alaska), his work involved reconnaissance operations, which led to his training and entry into the computer technology field in 1962 as part of NORAD at Ent Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. He retired from military service in April 1968 as a Senior Master Sergeant and received the Air Force Commendation Medal. He then chose to work for Civil Service in a similar capacity for NORAD and then later Space Command, serving at several national defense posts in the Colorado Springs area, including the Cheyenne Mountain Complex. When he retired 20 years later as a Computer Program Analyst, it was never fully known exactly what his later work in the military or in Civil Service entailed as it was top secret. Nevertheless, it was understood that it had something to do with satellites and global monitoring for national security threats.
While stationed in Japan, Eugene converted to Catholicism. His faith was a very important aspect of his daily living and gave him great comfort, especially in the last 14 years of his life as he dealt with the crushing effects of COPD and up till his death from the disease at Pikes Peak Hospice.
Family also meant a great deal to Eugene as his parents had divorced when he was 11 years old. He married Georgie Batdorf in October of 1962. They had four children: Theresa, Peggy (deceased), Daniel, and David. He had four granddaughters he adored as well: Trista Wussick, Jillian Wussick, Heaven Read, and Zavrielle Read.
Eugene was also his family’s genealogist – an avocation he truly enjoyed and in which he made many great discoveries and maintained many key, detailed historical records. He was also an avid Broncos fan and the consummate gardener, creating much beauty and good food for his family on his home’s 1/3 acre lot for much of his adult life. Perhaps his greatest legacy was that he was a kind, compassionate, and loving man who gave much to charity and would do anything for those he loved. He is truly missed, and his family looks forward to being with him again on the other side.
~ Georgie A. Read, wife