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Neighbor Mourned

Miracles Club to honor 85-year-old killed

Danny Peterson | 5/22/2018, 5:44 p.m.
Recovery assistance center serving the African American community is mourning the death of local welder and fabricator Eugene C. Gora, ...
Eugene C. Gora

The Miracles Club, a non-alcohol recovery assistance center serving the African American community, is mourning the death of local welder and fabricator Eugene C. Gora, 85, who was found murdered May 10 at his landmark red welding garage, located on the corner of Northeast Skidmore and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, adjacent to the center.

Executive Director Michael Booker announced Monday that the Miracles Club invites the community to join them for an informal public memorial service in Gora’s honor on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. at the Miracles Club. Gora was a member of the organization where he made daily visits.

“He was a good guy. We were very saddened about what happened to him ‘cause he was part of what we did and he was part of the community,” Booker said.

Gora was found dead in his welding shop where he also resided for many decades. The Oregon State Medical Examiner determined the cause of death as homicidal violence and police have launched a homicide investigation. No arrests have been made.

He was known for his hand-crafted barbecue grills and custom fabrications, and made daily visits to Miracles Club and the Heavenly Taste café inside, dining for breakfast or dinner, striking up conversations with other club members, and observing card or dominoes games, Booker said.

“We loved him for who he was and he never was a problem. He just hung out,” he added.

Booker, 63, said he knew Gora going back decades, and his father bought a grill or two from him, but it wasn’t until the last three years or so that he started seeing his neighbor on a daily basis, hanging out at the club.

Gora had been getting around with a walker in his later years and also suffered from some hearing loss.

“The last time I talked to him was two days before his death. Asked him how he was doing. He said ‘I'm doing good for an old man,’” Booker recalled.

In the months leading up to his death Gora was attempting to get rid of some of his belongings. He sold some vehicles and other belongings after incurring two nuisance complaints in December to the city’s Neighborhood Inspections Program.

Gora was also recently cited for residing in his welding shop, which he told an inspector he’d been living in for the past 45 years, though it was designated a commercial property.

At the end of Sunday’s memorial ceremony, The Miracles Club will launch balloons into the air outside Gora’s property, a place where flowers and messages of remembrance have been on display for the past two weeks.

“Just come out and show your support. He was a pillar in our community. Been where he's located a long time. He treated us well," Booker said.