Pacific poet laureate Gerald McBreen dies

Gerald A. McBreen, poet laureate of the city of Pacific, died on May 18 in Covington.

McBreen had been struggling with lung ailments and was in a hospital in Covington when he took a turn for the worse, according to his son, Brendon McBreen.

The family is planning a memorial service for him at 2 p.m. June 17 in the Pacific Community Center’s East Room at 305 Milwaukee Blvd. S. Pacific.

McBreen was born in February 1936 in Nebraska.

A letter carrier for 36 years, he began that career, according to his son, Brendon, in the belief that was only a temporary worker.

“It didn’t work out that way,” said the younger McBreen. “Although he was proud to work for the post office, it wasn’t always pleasant. He once won a liar’s contest by telling the truth about the dysfunctions of the postal service at the time.”

McBreen described his dad as an avid reader and always a writer.

“I remember growing up surrounded by book shelves,” said McBreen. “When I was young, he would insist on turning the TV off a couple times a week to read to me and my brother ‘King Kong’ and ‘Frankenstein.’ He was always collecting and telling jokes and spent the last half or more of his life writing poetry. His favorites, of course, were his romance poems.”

He was honored with the poet laureateship of Pacific and was thrilled about it. He particularly loved reading a poem in winter during the tree lighting ceremonies.

“It is heartening to have such a caring community when times are difficult. I know my father would appreciate it too. He will be missed,” said McBreen.