Chancellor of Johnston College, Professor Emeritus
Eugene “Gene” Ouellette, Ph.D. died peacefully at his home in Redlands on Nov. 9, 2015. A long-time Redlands resident, educator and proud Marine Corps veteran, Ouellette was admired and respected by his many friends and colleagues for his sharp wit, intellect, leadership skills and untiring commitment to helping others.
Born Feb. 9, 1929, in Lowell, Mass., Ouellette attended Keith Academy in Lowell and Oblate Mary Immaculate Seminary before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean Conflict. After leaving the service, he attended Catholic University in Washington, D.C., and Boston College School of Law. He earned his B.A. and master’s in communicative disorders from University of Redlands and his doctorate in communicative disorders and psychology from the University of Washington.
Gene began his career in higher education as a faculty member of San Diego State University. He returned to Redlands as chair and faculty member of the Department of Communicative Disorders. He was the founding faculty member of audiology programs for San Diego State University and the University of Redlands and the originator of the state speech therapy credential program at the University of Redlands. Committed to progressive education, Gene served as chancellor of Johnston College from 1971 to 1975 and later as vice president for academic affairs for the Union of Experimenting Colleges and Universities as well as national director of its University without Walls Program. He also was president of Communication Health Services, a private rehabilitation practice serving the Inland Empire.
He married Anne Morrison Ouellette in 1955 and raised his two daughters in Redlands. Active in the Redlands community for more than six decades, Ouellette directed several city council campaigns and was a member of the Redlands Rotary Club, the Redlands Loyal Knights of the Roundtable, the Redlands Fortnightly Club and Friends of the A.K. Smiley Library as well as other local organizations. Ouellette was also an accomplished sculptor, tennis player and sailor and was well known for his poker skills.
He is survived by his daughters, Michelle and Jeanne Ouellette, and grandchildren Natalie and Tristan Darquea. He was preceded in death by his wife, who died earlier in 2015. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.