Ocean Beach 05

Eugene Tournour

March 18, 1937 ~ January 6, 2022 (age 84)


Eugene “Gene” Joseph Patrick Tournour (1937-2022) passed away peacefully on January 6, at his daughter Gina’s home in Wyckoff, NJ. He was an honors graduate of the Jesuit College Preparatory   school, St. Louis University HS (SLUH) and graduate of Washington University in St. Louis. Gene played an integral part of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. He served as Midwest Field Secretary of C.O.R.E. from 1961 to 1964, organizing many chapters in the Midwest. He and his wife Roberta helped organize the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington. He participated in Freedom Rides. He was instrumental in organizing the Jefferson Bank Boycott, one of the most important civil rights actions in St. Louis, Missouri, for which Roberta served time for civil disobedience. He worked with Dr. Martin Luther King to unite the southern and northern Civil Right movements to lead a coalition of marches in the Chicago Freedom Movement. Gene and his wife ran Freedom Houses on the South and North Sides of Chicago, which provided reading classes to the community and organized protests against slum housing. Gene was a journalist and union organizer. He organized community activities at St. Peter’s Chelsea, a church in New York City. He worked for the Teamsters Local 810 as an organizer and Director of Education. He served as an organizer, Trustee, and International Representative of the American Federation of Musicians for twenty years, retiring at age 81. He was an educator and mentor to many and will be sorely missed. Deeply devoted to his family, Gene is survived by his loving wife of 60 years, Roberta; devoted daughters Gina (Bob) Friedman and Lisa (Glenn) Glans; devoted son Geno (Dana) Tournour; and beloved grandchildren Willem, Kristen, Ryan, Kevin, Giovanni, and Owen.

The family will receive family and friends on Sunday, January 9, 2022 from 1:00 – 4:00 PM at the Vander Plaat Funeral Home, www.vpfh.com, 257 Godwin Avenue, Wyckoff, NJ.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choosing.


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January 9, 2022

1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Vander Plaat Funeral Home
257 Godwin Ave.
Wyckoff, NJ 07481

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