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obituary
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Eugene Zwillinger spacee Eugene Zwillinger

Eugene Lionel Zwillinger, a longtime Tiburon resident, died Jan. 8, after a 1½-year struggle with cancer. He was 79 years old.

Mr. Zwillinger was born in New York to Joseph and Anne Zwillinger and grew up in Brooklyn, attending the Little Red School House. He received his bachelor's degree from New York University and his doctorate from Washington University in St. Louis.

His professional home was the counseling department at San Francisco State University, where, as professor and chair, he influenced the lives of many students.

One of his students, Theresa Rozzano, wrote in a letter to Mr. Zwillinger that he was "able to identify and cajole the flame that burns deep within others long before they could see it for themselves."

When his children were growing up, he coached youth sports teams and was president of the Tiburon Peninsula Soccer League, now the Tiburon Peninsula Soccer Club.

After he retired, he served a yearlong term on the Marin County civil grand jury, where he enjoyed making a contribution to the community, the friends he met and the poker game he organized that continued for decades.

In retirement, he also refined his talents as a stained glass artist, table designer, craftsman of fine furniture and landscape designer.

"He leaves a legacy of fine creative work that will be enjoyed by future generations," said his wife, Lesley.

"Mostly Gene will be remembered for being a warm, passionate person, full of creative and inquisitive energy and ideas and always a quick wit and wonderful humor. He was interesting to talk with and effortlessly cool with a full personality, serious about ideas but always able to see the funny side of life."

He helped people realize that they could do good in the world, she said. He also shared a love of the racetrack with his father.

In addition to wife Lesley Zwillinger, who taught on the faculty in the same department at San Francisco State for 28 years, Mr. Zwillinger is survived by three children, Rachel Zwillinger of Corte Madera, Marc Zwillinger of Forestville and Joey Zwillinger of Mill Valley; a sister, Lenore Brooks of New York; a granddaughter, Maxine; two nieces, Nancy Skolnik of Florida and Carol Brooks of New York; and many cousins. Two more grandchildren are on the way.

Contributions in his memory may be sent to Doctors Without Borders, P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21741; or to American Civil Liberties Union or its foundation online at aclu.org.

 

 

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