Gene Barger, a Harley-Davidson dealer for more than 37 years, President of Barger Harley-Davidson and a resident of Santa Clarita, California, died unexpectedly on October 7, 2014 at his home in Santa Clarita.
Gene Barger is survived by his long-time girlfriend, Gitte Pedersen, his brother and sister-in-law Rodney and Alanna, his nieces and nephews, Lori Johnson, Susan Thurber, Rainbow, Amber, Sammy, Justin, Shelbi, Steve Jr. Poffinbarger, and Tyler, Tiffany and Jeff Jr. Johnson. Gene is also survived by his extended family from his business, Barger Harley-Davidson, which include his first wife and business partner, Loretta Hanson, 50% co-owner of Barger Harley-Davidson.
Gene is predeceased by his parents, Glenn E. Poffinbarger and Helen Scherer Poffinbarger, and by his brother Robert L. Poffinbarger.
Gene was born in Florence, Kansas, on May 17, 1932. He attended Bakersfield High School and graduated from Bakersfield College. Soon after graduation, he joined the Sante Fe Railway as a fireman, shoveling coals into the steam engines. His passion for the railroad and steam engine locomotives kept him with the Santa Fe Railway for 7 years. Gene was determined to pave his own path in life and realized the greater potential for success in Los Angeles. He packed his bags and headed for L.A.
Gene’s first job was as a door-to-door sales person and he soon realized his future potential in sales. In the mid '70s when the opportunity presenting itself, Gene bought his first motorcycle dealership in Sherman Oaks, “Sherman Oaks Honda and Triumph”
In 1977, Gene Barger expanded his business when jointly he and Loretta Barger Hanson founded Barger Harley-Davidson, Inc. Barger Harley-Davidson is located the Canoga Park area of Los Angeles and is one of the longest-serving authorized Harley-Davidson dealerships in L.A. county. Gene was passionate about the Harley-Davidson brand and had been a member of the Harley-Davidson Dealership Advisory Committee.
Gene was a respected and devoted business man and loving committed partner. His variety of interests included motorcycle riding, flying his Piper airplane, and building and flying remote controlled airplanes. Among the proudest moments of his life was when he obtained his FAA-pilot license, bought his own Piper airplane and flew it cross the country. On the day Gene passed away, he was on his computer researching the perfect radio-controlled Drone with video camera equipment to buy. He truly enjoyed life and his hobbies to the fullest until his sudden last breath.
Although still actively involved in the day-to-day operation of Barger Harley-Davidson, Gene loved to spend time in his beautiful home and garden where he lived a quiet life with his girlfriend and their two beloved dogs. Gene was a history buff with particular interest in both the First and Second World War. He was an amateur alto saxophone player who spent hours practicing his music. Among Gene’s favorite pieces of music to play was “Body and Soul,” which will be played in his honor at his funeral service. Most of all, Gene was loved and respected by all who will miss his great sense of humor and laughter.
Gene Barger will be laid to rest in a beautiful and tranquil spot overlooking lavenders, roses and the rolling hills of Placerita Canyons in Santa Clarita. His final resting place is appropriately named Court of Love #82-E. The crypt number of his mausoleum is part of the FAA ID of his Piper airplane 8251-E
Viewing is scheduled for Monday, October 20, 2014 from 4-8 p.m. at Eternal Valley Memorial Park, 23287 Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita CA 91321,
A service to celebrate Gene's amazing life, followed by his Last Ride on the Open Road to Interment is scheduled for Sunday, October 26, 2014 at 1 p.m. at Eternal Valley Memorial Park, 23287 Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita CA 91321.
Reception to follow at the Elks Lodge, 20925 Osborne Street in Canoga Park from 2.30 to 6.00 p.m.
Gene's family at Barger Harley-Davidson has planned a Memorial Ride in Gene's honor with meeting time at 10.30 a.m. and kickstand up at 11.30 a.m. The Memorial Ride will depart from Barger Harley-Davidson, 22107 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, and ride to Eternal Valley Memorial Park, 23287 Sierra Hwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91321.
Gene Barger will join in the one stretch of the ride – Gene’s Last Ride on the Open Road following the celebration of his life to his final resting place at his mausoleum at Court of Love # 82-E
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