Six years ago, Rudy “Butch” Gehrig was diagnosed with Frontotemporal Degeneration. It is a dementia that attacks the brain and the body. He tried very hard to keep doing what he loved and never complained. His body finally wore out on Feb. 15, 2021.
Butch was born Nov. 28, 1956, and was 64 years of age at the time of his passing. Butch may have been born at The Hood River Memorial Hospital, but from there after, he wanted it known he was from Odell. Butch was the sixth of nine children born to Rudy and Margaret Gehrig. He was right in the middle of six sisters, with his two brothers being the eldest. He had a great childhood, playing with his siblings, cousins and friends who became life-long buddies. He graduated in 1975 and enjoyed every reunion.
In 1976, a 16-year-old girl caught his eye. He and Patricia Farley had their first date in a car they still own, Butch’s 1966 Chevelle Beaumont. He told her he thought he’d would scare her off if he brought his ‘55 Chevy. May 22, 1982, Butch and Patricia married surrounded by hundreds of family and friends.
In 1981, his father retired and turned the reins of Gehrig’s Chevron over to Butch. With Patricia as bookkeeper and Butch doing what he loved best, they have had a great 40 years serving the community he loved.
Service to the community was very important to Butch. He judged many Boy Scout cake contests. He served on the Odell Sanitary District Board for 32 years. Butch also served 23 years on the Hood River Electric Co-op board, the last few as the board president. He was on the Leadership Committee at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and a lifetime member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.
Butch is survived by his wife, Patricia Gehrig, sons Joe Gehrig and Paco Salazar, brother, five sisters, nieces, nephews, cousins and many, many friends. He loved them all dearly. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Dan and sister Jenni.
Services for Butch are planned as follows:
A time of viewing is planned for 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (with Rosary prayed at 5 p.m.), Sunday, Feb. 21 at Anderson's Tribute Center, 1401 Belmont Ave., Hood River.
A private Catholic Funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m., Monday, Feb. 22 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1501 Belmont Ave., Hood River. Butch’s service will be live streamed at a link can be accessed at www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com; there is also an interactive guestbook here for memories to be shared with family.
A public committal service will be at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 23 at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, 1501 Belmont Ave., Hood River.
Donations can be made to the Wy’East Fire District, Hospice of the Gorge or The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration.
Visit www.AndersonsTributeCenter.com to access guestbook and webcast links.