Sympathy Notice: Gene Grumbine

August 26, 2006 – 11:23 am

It is with great sadness that I inform the Virginia criminal justice community that Mr. Gene Grumbine passed away yesterday. Many of you old-timers will remember Gene as the rotund Breathalyzer instructor from the Department of Forensic Science with the booming voice. Gene died of a heart attack late yesterday afternoon. Gene is survived by his wife Debbie, his kids and a whole state full of grateful law enforcement officers.

Debbie advises that the funeral arrangements are pending but she expects the funeral to take place on Wednesday and it will be in the Richmond Area.

It is my hope that the law enforcement community will show their appreciation to Gene’s family for his 30+ years of dedicated service to public safety.

  1. 41 Responses to “Sympathy Notice: Gene Grumbine”

  2. I remember Gene when I was initally certified on the old 900A Breathalyzer. He made the class a lot of fun. He would teach a while and then tell several lawyer jokes!!!…He definitely had a great collection of lawyer jokes. We had an opportunity to all go to lunch together and share stories. My deepest and most sincere condolences to his Family. Gene will be missed by the entire Law Enforcement community.

    By Francis M.(Che-Che) Miano on Aug 26, 2006

  3. When I first started working at (what was then) the Bureau of Forensic Science, I served as an apprentice under both Gary Burliegh and Gene. As the schedule worked out, I ended up traveling with Gene almost exclusively toward the end of my apprenticeship. Most of you who travel a good deal know that you develop “rituals” of sorts while you are on the road. Well Gene and I both liked pizza and it was convenient to pick up and take back to the motel thus leading to our special “rituals”. On Sunday, we would check into the motel and go buy a large pizza and a six pack of beer. On Monday, we would buy a medium pizza and two six packs. On Tuesday, we would buy a small pizza and three six packs. And on Wednesday, you probably guessed it, we would just buy a case of beer and say heck with the meal. I have always thought that if we could have spent one more night on the road together, we would have been able to solve most of the world’s problems – or at least we would have thought we did that night. I’m going to miss my old pizza eating buddy.

    By Rich on Aug 26, 2006

  4. Gene was my instructor on the old 900A. It was a little intimidating after taking the math test to just qualify. Gene made the class fun and enjoyable. He taught us what we needed and added a little fun to the class. I will never forget his jokes. I think Gene was a born teacher he made learning a hard subject fun and kept us all waiting to see what would happen next. My deepest and most sincere condolences to his Family. Gene will be missed by the entire Law Enforcement community

    By Tammy Pickurel, Inv. HCSO on Aug 27, 2006

  5. I received my 900A-Instructor training from Gene back in the 80’s. Rich was there as well. With Gene and Gary Burleigh as instructors, it was reminiscent of the old Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis routine. Gary was the straight man and Gene was quick with the jokes. Breathalyzer instruction would have been a boring experience without him.
    My thoughts and prayers are with his family during this difficult time.

    By Dave Beckner, VSP on Aug 28, 2006

  6. Gene taught the very first class I ever took during my Law enforcement career. I was very impressed with the professionalism he displayed and the care in ensuring that I understood the information. I was afforded several in-service classes for the 900 A under his tenure. To the family I wish to say Gene made a difference in my career. He demonstrated the professionalism I hoped to achieve. I am proud to have known him. My prayers will be with family.

    By Capt. A.J. Panebianco on Aug 28, 2006

  7. Gene was my instructor in 1981. I had the privilidge to become a breath alcohol instructor and worked with him on lots of occasions,I especially enjoyed the instructors recertifications,they were something to remember back in the old days. Gene was the only person who got his moneys worth at Captain Georges buffets,I came in a close second.There are way to many stories to tell,things like lamp shades and the best one was”can you fly”.It was a joy to teach a class with Gene,he was one of the smartest men I have ever known,its a shame he never made it to Jeopardy, he would have won it hands down.The lawyer jokes are very famous,so famous it caused me to marry a lawyer,I’m a real hit at the “bar” gatherings with all the lawyer jokes I know.The world is a better place because of what Gene Grumbine did while he was here on this earth,Heaven will be a better place because he has arrived there,I look forward to someday seeing my old friend there.

    By Mel Morris,PCSO ret. on Aug 28, 2006

  8. I worked several years with Gene. I always enjoyed his “booming” voice, whether it was through the ‘sound proof’ wall during his breath alcohol instruction or his called ‘strike’ at the ball park. He was a joy to be around and would always welcome you into his family and make you feel warm and wanted. He will be missed but his memory lingers on for all of us who knew and loved him. My prayers and thoughts are for his family who will miss him the most of us all.

    By Margie Harris on Aug 28, 2006

  9. Gene had a lot of enthusiasm in teaching law enforecemnt personnel and I too remember his lawyer jokes. He made an great contribution to the police and the community. Please know that my sympathy is with all his family.

    Harry Holmes FST III VBPD- Aug. 28, 2006

    By Harry Holmes on Aug 28, 2006

  10. I only knew Gene through Intoxilyzer training, but he was a very good instructor. He will be missed greatly. My prayers and thoughts will be with his family.

    By David Ashby on Aug 28, 2006

  11. Gene Grumbine had a voice and a set of pipes that rang out in any class (or the one next door!), choir or ball field. Gene was my instructor, like many others in the mid 80’s for the old 900A Breathalyzer. Gene showed that Algebra COULD actually be put to good use, something that most teachers & professors COULD NOT do. These were in the days when officers actually partook of a mixture of “trash-ohol”. Old days, hard days, but looking back fun days & Gene helped make them that way. To his beloved family, lean on the strength of Lord, family and the many folks throughout this Commonwealth who counted him as a friend & were the better for knowing him. Yes the attorney jokes were classical. I am sure he has cracked a couple already beyond the entrances to the gates of heaven.

    By David Wells on Aug 28, 2006

  12. I was taught many years ago on the 900.
    I have never forgotten that class, or his voice. I still laugh at his jokes about buracracies and court-the best part was him mixing up the drinks.
    geez-couldn’t do that today…
    I will miss him, but never forget him.
    My prayers and sympathies are with his Family.

    God Bless

    Larry Ressin

    By L.N.Ressin on Aug 28, 2006

  13. I worked with Gene for many years doing breathalyzer schools at Cardinal Academy. He made the class so much fun and I always looked forward to him coming to the academy. He had the very best personality. He was my friend and I am going to miss him. There will never be another Gene Grumbine. Debbie, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    By Carol Kelley on Aug 28, 2006

  14. I remember Gene very fondly. I went through Basic 900A Certification right after my basic academy. He was one on a short list of instructors that I remember very clearly and by name as personable, fun, and still capable of dynamic instruction. I can still quote his acronyms and lawyer jokes! He will be missed but always remembered!

    By Scott Schwarzer on Aug 28, 2006

  15. I worked with Gene but a short time during the transition from the 900A to the Intoxilyzer. His ability to put a rookie instructor at ease was greatly appreciated. Gene is known and respected throughout the Commonwealth and whenever tales are spun about breath alcohol instruction and the way it used to be, one could absolutely be sure that his name came up during those conversations.

    To Debbie and family, our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    By Wolf Gholson on Aug 28, 2006

  16. I first met Gene when he and I attended Breath Alcohol Instructor school in 1981. I enjoyed instructing with Gene until retirement in 1996. He was a gentle giant who loved to tell “Lawyer” jokes. We kept in touch thru e-mail and I have personally lost a dear friend. I have visited with Gene and Debbie and I know how much he loved his family. Rest in peace my friend

    By Jim Fitts ret. vsp on Aug 28, 2006

  17. Gene was my instructor on the old 900-A breathalyzer. HE was by far the very best instructor I ever had the pleasure of knowing. His manor of teaching and his humor were always top notch. His passing is a great loss to law enforcment. He will be missed, but never forgotten.

    By Jim Lawson on Aug 28, 2006

  18. Gene made learning boring material fun. Gene’s presence in the classroom made a tremendous impression on me. He is one of the few instructors you never forget. He will be greatly missed and my prayers go out to his family.

    By Sgt. Scott Naff, VDGIF on Aug 28, 2006

  19. How can one forget Gene explaining the difference between the “dark” and “light” alcohol and why you saw things floating in it. “Just drink it and shut up” hahahahaah. What a great guy and true gentleman. It was always a pleasure to have Gene come “up” to the Shenandoah Valley to teach. It was always interesting. My wish for Gene and his family is that Gene now knows and his family can rest assured that he is now with our Heavenly Father. God bless you all.

    By Sgt. Bob Moubray Middle River Regional Jail on Aug 28, 2006

  20. so very sorry… will be forever missed..

    By Kenny J. Harper on Aug 28, 2006

  21. My condolences to Gene’s family for their great loss. Gene’s classroom mannerisms got me through the hours of classroom I have had to “endure” over the years. His demeanor and antics were an encouragement to me as I also am an instructor.My prayers will be for Gene’s family to be comforted and make the adjustment that will come in the days ahead.

    By Bobby Bray on Aug 28, 2006

  22. My condolences to Gene’s family for their great loss of such a wonderful individual. It was always a pleasure to attend BA recertification training knowing that Gene’s was the instructor. His knowledge of the material and his entertaining personality was always a joy to be around. He will always be in the hearts and minds of all that knew him. Without a doubt, he will be greatly missed.

    By SSA Knick, VA DMV on Aug 29, 2006

  23. Gene was a top notch instructor. He was very articulate with his wisdom and made everyone better for it. I too enjoyed his “lawyer” jokes. My prayers go out to his loved ones. Rejoice that he has crossed the river and waits on the other side. No doubt he will watch over us all until we meet again.

    By SA Martin, VSP on Aug 29, 2006

  24. My condolences go to Gene’s family. He is one of the most memorable instructors we ever had, great sense of humor and an enjoyable person to be around. He will be missed by us all.

    By Gary Shively, Franklin County S O on Aug 29, 2006

  25. Gene was a fantastic instructor who always made class entertaining. My prayers and sympathies are with his family.

    By Gary Moore on Aug 29, 2006

  26. My heart goes out to Gene’s family in their time of loss. Gene will be greatly missed by many. I would like to leave you with this thought. Those who bloom in the heart of others, never fade away…May you find comfort and strength in your memories. May God bless you all.

    By Capt. D. K. Bales on Aug 29, 2006

  27. Gene and I first meet in 1981 as we both when through breathalyzer instructor school. As the years went by we taught several schools together, and we always enjoyed Virginia Beach re-certifications. Every time I tell a lawyer joke I always think of Gene. Gene will always be remimbered as a #1 instructor by Virginia law-enforcement. To Debbie and family our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    By Lt. Jeff Dotson, Wise P.D. on Aug 29, 2006

  28. I attended one of Gene’s classes around 1980. He made the entire week very enjoyable and was a great help to some of us that are mathematically challenged. His passing is great loss, not just to his family, but to the criminal justice community. The thoughts and prayers of our agency are with his wife and family during such a trying time.

    By Gary Roche on Sep 1, 2006

  29. It is not how many years we live, but what we do with them. Gene did so much and helped so many, he was a friend to all.

    By Nelson C. Tolley Sr. on Sep 4, 2006

  30. Our thoughts and prayers are with Gene’s family as they live with a loss not only to them, but to everyone who knew Gene. I too, was trained by Gene on the old 900-A, as were many of today’s breathalyzer operators. Gene, simply put, “made learning fun”. He will be greatly missed by each person who knew him, and each person who his life touched.

    By Greg Locke, Loudoun County Sheriff's Office on Sep 13, 2006

  31. I will never forget that voice of his and of course the jokes. It was always a pleasure to be in his class. He was missed when he retired and he will be missed even more now.
    Jeff Rowe

    By Jeff Rowe on Sep 19, 2006

  32. Gene was my instructor as well. He taught me about life. He taught me about respect. He taught me about honor. He taught me how to try. He taught me to be an acrolyte. He did it all by example. He showed me a way out of trouble, a way out of sorrow, a way out of confusion and a way to grow up. He forgave me. He laughed at me. He laughed with me. He pushed me. He was my friend. I will miss his bigness, his teachings, his example. He never stopped me. He encouraged me. He never criticized me. He offered me options. He never put me down. He built me up. He saved my past and salvaged my future. I hope ever young man has an opportunity to meet a man like Eugene Grumbine Jr. The world will be better place if they do.

    By Steven LaPrade on Sep 29, 2006

  33. Dear Friends,
    Please know how much love, pride and tremendous comfort I take when I read, and re-read these messages. I printed them out and gave them to Gene’s father who was unable to get to the Funeral, and does not use a computer. Our family would like to Thank You ALL, and especially Rich for making it all possible. Gene and I were blessed to have recently celebrated 40 years together. God Bless You and Yours.
    With great appreciation,
    Debbie Grumbine

    By Debbie Grumbine on Nov 3, 2006

  34. “It is like a grenade – you get close and you will be OK.” That is Gene’s theory on correct spelling. Gene, thanks for making 1081 classes enjoyable.

    By Monty on Nov 8, 2006

  35. To the Grumbine family, I am so sorry for your loss. I went to get my flu vaccination this past Saturday and met Jill. As I sat at her table I saw her name tag and inquired about any relationship to Gene. Jill then told me about his death, which came as a complete shock. Gene was definitely one of those people you never forget. I attended my first breath alcohol school in 1989 and can honestly say because of Gene many of us made it through. I would venture a guess that Gene never met a stranger. We are better people for knowing him and I know that he will be missed.

    By Sgt. Shawn Maxwell-Henrico Police on Nov 8, 2006

  36. Kim & Jill, I was saddened to learn of your dad’s passing. He was such a wonderful instructor and a great person. After getting over the shock of his passing, I just started remembering the jokes and how full of life he was. He will be greatly missed. (JRT ’84)

    By Thomas Holsinger, Henrico County Police on Nov 8, 2006

  37. I also was one of Gene’s students for the breath alcohol school back in 1986, and then again, yes again, in 1988. I remember Gene commenting on this and our agreeing it must have been for the desire to experiement more with the “dark” or “light” mixtures and we left it at that. Gene taught more then just about operating the 900A. He used his own experiences in life to relay messages across to his classes that we could utilize and adopt for ourselves. My sympathy goes to everyone a part of Gene’s family and please know that he will be deeply missed by everyone.

    By Sgt. Pete Grainer - Henrico Police on Nov 8, 2006

  38. Gene was a great man and will be sorely missed by the VA law enforcement family. I will always remember his booming voice helping us young recruits get through a very difficult training class. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

    By Lt. Doug Perry Henrico Police on Nov 8, 2006

  39. So sorry to hear of Gene’s death, I played softball for over 25 years and knew your dad well, I then took the Breath Alcohol Class in 1996 and he taught the class, we had a ball. He later said that one of the best classes he ever hosted was ours because we talked softball and clowned around so much. He was a very good umpire and great instructor. I can still hear him bellow out TIME !!!! as a play ended in his patented deep voice.

    By Bob Mitchell - Henrico Police on Nov 8, 2006

  40. Gene was such an excellent instructor and gave me my first certification after graduating from the 23rd Basic Academy. I can remember like it was yesterday being so nervous that first day of breathlyzer school and Gene telling one of the funniest jokes I had ever heard, and the week of training instantaneously became fun and not work. He will be missed greatly, and may God Bless the entire Grumbine family.

    By Dan Busang on Nov 9, 2006

  41. Gene will forever be a part of the Virginia Law Enforcement Community; he was a tremendous instructor with his booming voice and deep belly laugh. He was a mentor to many,and I consider myself fortunate to have worked closely with him. However, being one of the longest tenured Instructors in the program, I spent a great deal of time with Gene in his office preparing for a class, in the classroom teaching and nights on the road discussing the days events. Gene was a devote family man and to know him was to know his family, regardless of time or place the conversation would revolve to his family, his love for his family was extremely evident. I was truly saddened to hear of his passing and the loss of a true professional; but I was proud and glad that our paths had crossed. He may be gone but his legacy still lives on, what he gave to his family, friends, associates and community will not be forgotten! I pray that God will bless and keep each of you. Chuck Wade, Captain Retired, Henrico County Division of Police

    By Chuck Wade on Jan 15, 2007

  42. Thanks, Rich,
    Six years later these messages bring more smiles than tears.


    By Debbie Grumbine on Aug 27, 2012

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