E. Hochhalter

Obituary of E. Eugene Hochhalter


E. Eugene (Gene) passed away on March 8th, 2022, from his 2-year battle with pancreatic cancer in Meridian, Idaho surrounded by his loved ones.  Gene was born on August 23, 1948, to Martha Jerusha (Judy) Teague Hochhalter and Emil Otto Hochhalter in Twin Falls.  Gene spent his childhood in Twin Falls and graduated from Twin Falls High School in 1966.  After, high school he attended the College of Southern Idaho Vocational School studying Radio and Television repair and graduated in 1967 with an Associate Degree.  The summer of 1968-1969, he attended an ISU/AEC Health Physics Technician Training Program.  With that background, he decided to major in Nuclear Engineering at Idaho State University (ISU).  In 1968, he met his future wife Deborah Walker, and they were married on July 17, 1970.

In 1972, he graduated from ISU with a B.S. Degree in General Engineering under the Nuclear Option.  After graduation, he accepted an engineering position with Stone and Webster Engineering Corporation in Boston, Massachusetts working on commercial nuclear power plants. He belonged to the ISU Chapter of the American Nuclear Society for several years. 

In 1976, Gene accepted a job with Allied Chemical Corp. in Idaho Falls, at the Chemical Processing Plant.  He worked at the Idaho Chemical Plant for 13 years on the Fluorinel and Fuel Storage (FAST) Facility Project as a project safety analyst.  He worked on the Fuel Restoration Project (FPR), the ICPP Waste Management programs as a subsection manager, and finally as the Nuclear Safety Department manager for the INL. 

In 1985, he was awarded the George Westinghouse Signature Award of Excellence, for the work he performed on the FAST project.  In October 1986, he was promoted to Manager of Project Safety Analysis. During the 2004 contract transition, he was the acting director for the Nuclear Safety Directorate.

 Gene spent 31 years at the INEL retiring in February 2007.  After retirement in 2007, he worked for Babcock and Wilcox Technical Services as a safety analysis contractor for several years. 

While living in Massachusetts Gene and Deb adopted their son, Michael Paul.  He was born on August 27, 1975, in Bogota, Colombia. Our daughter, Wendy Marie, was born on December 21, 1976, in Idaho Falls, Idaho.  Our youngest daughter, Alicia Fay, was born on June 27,1981 in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

After retirement, he traveled to Florida, Honduras (Church Mission Trip), Caribbean, Europe, and Alaska.  Gene always told his children it was never too late to get more education and in May of 2012 Gene received his, Doctor of Philosophy, Ph.D. in Nuclear Science and Engineering.  He was always joking by telling us he could now do surgeries.  Gene had a passion for family genealogy, computers, electronics, Boy Scouts, camping, fishing, mining for gold, star garnets, and sapphires.  He also had a great sense of humor.  He could see the funny side of any situation in life and used his humor to help others.  He has four wonderful Grandchildren Mette, Gabriella, Noah, and Samuel that he adored, and he loved showing them how to fish. 

Gene is survived by his wife, Deborah, Son Michael, Daughter Wendy (David) Abraham and Alicia (Jef) Petersen, his four Grandchildren, Sister Edith (Don) Powel, Brother Philip Hochhalter, Stepsister Koni (Larry) Bourn, Stepbrothers Max and Ron Harrison, Brother-in-Law Steve (Denise) Walker and Sister-in-Law Nina (Dennis) Molkjer.

Gene was preceded in death by his parents (Emil and Judy), his stepdad, Duane Harrison, and his stepbrother Keith Harrison and many other ancestors too numerous to mention. 

In lieu of flowers, please consider donating:

  • Hillview United Methodist Church, Boise, ID
  • St. Luke’s Cancer Institute, Meridian, ID
  • Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN
  • St Jude’s, Memphis, TN
  • St. Luke’s Hospice, Meridian, ID.   

Funeral services will be held at the Hillview United Methodist Church in Boise, Idaho on Wednesday, March 16th, 2022, at 12:00 P.M.  A viewing will be held one hour prior at 11:00 A.M. There will be a luncheon following the funeral services. The internment services will be held at the Meridian Cemetery following the funeral service and luncheon.

Memorial Donations for Eugene Hochhalter


    1. Hillview United Methodist Church

8525 W Ustick Rd.

Boise, Idaho 83704



    1. St. Luke’s Cancer Institute

520 S. Eagle Rd.

Meridian, ID 83642

(208) 706-5651

Fax: (208) 706-5344



    1. Mayo Clinic – Rochester, Mn

Department of Development

Mayo Clinic
200 First St. SW
Rochester, MN 55905



    1. St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital

262 Danny Thomas Place

Memphis, TN 38105

Donor Services: (800) 822-6344



    1. St. Luke’s Hospice, Meridian, Idaho

3330 E Louise Dr, Ste 400

Meridian, ID 83642

(208) 381-2721


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11:00 am - 12:00 pm
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Hillview United Methodist Church
8525 W. Ustick Rd
Boise, Idaho, United States

Funeral Service

12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Hillview United Methodist Church
8528 W. Ustick Rd.
Boise, Idaho, United States


3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Wednesday, March 16, 2022
Meridian Cemetery
895 E. Franklin Rd.
Meridian, Idaho, United States


A luncheon is to follow the service at Hillview United Methodist Church, from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM.
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