Donald Vernon Genesy Nov. 11, 1959 – March 17, 2022

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(Courtesy of the Genesy Family)
Donald Vernon Genesy

    Don was a fourth generation Californian, born in San Francisco to Ray and Mary Gordon (McLachlen) Genesy. Growing up in Orinda, he attended Miramonte High School where his renowned trumpet playing could be seen front and center for musicals, the marching band, the jazz band and the brass choir at Christmas.
    He attended Chico State on a trumpet scholarship and graduated with an Art degree from University of California, Santa Cruz. Family and friends still cherish the paintings he gave them.
    Don loved music, cooking, traveling, the Niners, the perfect cocktail, Spenser novels and all things flora and dogs. An ardent dog lover from childhood, Don often had a dog at his side.
    His Indy rock collection is legend. He traveled all over the world, with a special place in his heart for Paris, Maui, DC and Yosemite. He had an innate ability to fix just about everything, fine-tuned as a teenager by rebuilding cars and tinkering with anything that had an engine.
    Don wore crazy colorful socks that would catch your eye, but he always wore the Niner socks on game day. He read dozens of cookbooks from beginning to end as if they were novels and would generously entertain, cooking extravagant, multi-course meals from scratch. He considered himself the ultimate restaurant critic.
    While it could take a while for him to get past an innate shyness, Don was always curious about people and their lives, asking intimate questions out of the blue. He carried a never-ending curiosity about faith and how others perceived their God. We trust Don knows all the answers now.
    He parlayed his passion for the Art of a Garden into a 35-year career with Barry Swenson and Swenson Builders, managing dozens of properties in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. Don helped countless friends, coworkers and family members create beautiful gardens at their own homes. A friend shared how appropriate it is that his work will continue literally to live on in his absence.
    Don’s family is grateful to Dr. Julie Jaffe and her entire staff for years of incredible care, understanding and compassion as they helped keep Don’s cancer at bay for more than a decade.
    Don was an incredible man and will be deeply missed by his wife Katherine (Butler); his siblings Rob, Dave (Sue), and Lisa Genesy; his stepchildren Josh (April) Mitchell, Tony (Rachel) Mitchell, Shane Luke, Rhiannon Prokop, Lauren (Jesse) Patterson, and Cameron Gardner; his grandchildren Kalil, Felicia, Anthony, Reveille, Olivia, and Finley; and cousins Chuck (Betsy), Mary Gordon (Jim), and Jane (Weston). His nieces and nephews; Alison, Spenser, Claire and Oliver will miss their “cool and quirky Uncle.”
    His grandchildren will always remember listening to their Papa read the food and restaurant sections of the newspaper while eating toast in bed, enjoying hot tubs, drinking glasses of champagne, watching movies and sports together, sharing in his fried chicken dinners and exploring the Enchanted Garden he lovingly created.

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