April 26, 1936 – July 30, 2013

Eugene Francis Thiel, 77, died July 30, 2013 at his residence in Joseph.

He was born in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to Allen John Thiel and Sarah Alice Thiel.

He attended Holy Rosary Elementary, Idaho Falls High School and University of Portland.

He was married to Eileen Thiel June 14, 1958.

Gene was an organic farmer and advocate for organic foods. He was a Portland delegate for the 2004 Slow Food World Conference in Torino, Italy. He was also an avid fly fisherman, mushroom forager and poet.

Gene participated in numerous farm organizations, including Oregon Tilth, the Slow Food Movement, PSU Farmers Market and TED Talks. He initiated the first Oregon State laws regarding organic food labeling, and continued teaching his philosophy to consumers, students and other farmers. His produce was featured in Portland’s finest restaurants, including Paley’s Place, Higgins and many more. Gene personally delivered his produce to Portland for many years.

He is survived by his wife, Eileen Thiel of Joseph; children and spouses, Julia Ann and Matt Soots of Eagle Creek, Amy Aileen Wechter of Newport, Martin Francis and Jackie Thiel of Richmond, Va., and Patrick Eugene Thiel of Joseph; 12 siblings, Allen, Kathleen, Bill, Jerry, Cecilia, Sarah, Mary Jo, Cheryl, Tony, Michelle, Susie and Laura; 14 grandchildren, Jennifer, Brenda, Matthew, Liz, Chelsea, Gabe, Cecily, Adam, Celeste, Morgan, Omega, Sara, Nancy and Mary; and three great-grandchildren, Ashley, Korbin and Jack.

Rosary was held Aug. 5 and a funeral mass Aug. 6 at St. Katherine Catholic Church in Enterprise. Disposition was by cremation.

To plant a tree in memory of Eugene Thiel as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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