Obituary: Eugene Allen “Al” Breitenbach
December 17, 1936 – August 31, 2023
Eugene Allen “Al” Breitenbach, was born on December 17, 1936 in California, passed away on August 31, 2023 from his home in San Diego, CA overlooking the ocean. He was a man of unbridled optimism, remarkable achievements and enduring relationships.
Al’s journey through life was marked by a pursuit of knowledge and excellence. He graduated from Glendale High School in CA and went on to achieve both a Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate in Petroleum Engineering from Stanford University. His academic dedication set the stage for a successful career in the energy industry.
Al’s greatest achievement, however, was his enduring marriage to Jean Breitenbach, a union that lasted for over 68 years. Together, they raised a loving family and shared countless cherished moments.
Al’s professional journey began at Mobil Oil and continued at Marathon Oil, where he made significant contributions to the field of petroleum engineering. He wrote the first computer program for Black Oil Reservoir Simulation. His passion for innovation and entrepreneurship led him to establish a company that he founded called Scientific Software Corporation. They were considered the premier energy consulting company with offices worldwide, leaving a lasting impact on the industry. He was a dedicated member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), where he actively contributed his expertise and leadership. His passion for the field led him to serve as the President of SPE for one term where he provided guidance and leadership to his fellow professionals. Al’s contributions to the SPE community left an indelible mark on the organization and the industry as a whole. His legacy will continue to inspire those who follow in his footsteps.
While working at the Marathon Research Lab, he and a few of his colleagues started the Littleton Hawks Ice Hockey Program. This initiative not only reflected his love for the sport but also his commitment to fostering a sense of community and shared experiences. Little did he know that this program would become a cherished tradition. His children and grandchildren continue to enjoy the sport he helped introduce to their lives. His vison and passion for hockey have become an enduring bond within the Breitenbach family, a testament to his ability to bring joy and unity to those he loved.
Beyond his career, Al was a passionate powerboat and sailboat racer, finding solace and joy on the water. He jokingly would brag that he set the world record for inboard flat bottom power boats at 97 mph in 1970 at Lake Havasu AZ. A record that he held for 45 minutes.
In addition to his many accomplishments, Al had a deep and abiding love for two places that held special meaning in his heart. He split his time between San Diego, where he pursued his love of the ocean, and Vail Colorado where he owned a home for over 45 years. His connection to the ocean was profound, and the San Diego Yacht Club provided him with a community that shared his passion for sailing and boating. The open sea was not just a hobby but a source of serenity and joy for him.
In Vail, Colorado, Al found solace in the breathtaking mountain landscapes and pursued another one of his great passions: skiing. For over four decades, he embraced the thrill of the slopes, creating cherished memories with family and friends.
Al’s ability to find joy in the contrast between the vast ocean and the towering mountains reflected his zest for life and his appreciation for the beauty of the natural world. These two places, San Diego and Vail, became integral parts of his identity, and he shared his love for them with those closest to him.
Al is survived by a loving and close-knit family who meant the world to him. He is survived by his devoted wife, Jean, with whom he shared over 68 years of enduring love and partnership. Al’s legacy extends to his three children: his son Kenneth, and his loving spouse Laura, his son Randall, and his devoted wife Melanie, and his daughter, Kristin and her caring husband, Robb. Al’s pride and joy were undoubtedly his eight grandchildren, whose accomplishments and milestones brought him immense happiness. He cherished each of them dearly, watching them grow and flourish.
Additionally, Al had the pleasure of being a great-grandfather, celebrating the arrival of a new generation into the family. His love and wisdom will continue to resonate through the generations, leaving an indelible mark on his family’s hearts.
Eugene Allen Breitenbach’s legacy is not only one of professional achievement but also of deep family bonds and the love that he shared with those closest to him. His memory will forever be treasured by his beloved family.
A celebration of Eugene Allen Breitenbach’s life will be held on October 13, 2023 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the San Diego Yacht Club. This gathering will provide an opportunity for family and friends to come together, share cherished memories, and honor the remarkable life of a man who touched so many with his passion, optimism, wisdom and warmth. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the San Diego Yacht Club Youth Sailing Foundation by contacting via email : firstname.lastname@example.org