Eugene “Gene” Newman Picquet was born in Memphis, Tennessee on June 29, 1924 and at the age of 77 years, he passed away at the family home in Bishop, Texas on Tuesday, May 7, 2002. Gene Picquet attended the parochial schools of Sainte Marie, Illinois. Following in the tracks of his older brother Jim, Gene enlisted in the Navy on June 30, 1941. After finishing Great Lakes boot camp, he opted for naval air training hoping to join his brother in Pensacola, Florida. Instead, he was stationed in Corpus Christi, Texas. Shortly, in the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, the naval air station in Kingsville was completed. When the base personnel were sent to Kingsville, Texas from Corpus Christi, Gene Picquet became a plank owner in the commissioning ceremonies.

Gene considered himself an ordinary naval warrior in the times of WWII. He told his family many times that there is nothing special about fighting a war except trying to stay alive or meeting death with dignity and purpose for keeping America FREE. He knew many who gave their lives and believed strongly in helping all who returned home to have a continued purpose to live. His family hopes that those who benefit from this scholarship fund (both active military and their families) find purpose in their college studies that prepare them for a better life.