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Spokesman for Toshiba killed

October 04, 2003

Bryce Alderton

Chris Premer, best known as the spokesman for the Toshiba Senior

Classic and for his work with Hoag Hospital, died in a plane crash on

Wednesday three miles from the Ontario Airport in Norco. He was going

to turn 31 on Oct. 12.

"The biggest loss to me is his friendship," said Jeff Purser, the

tournament's director. "He was such a fun, engaging, real person. He

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had so much integrity, talent and creativity. It is a loss for

everyone that knew him."

Paul Mumford Jr., a Yorba Linda businessman and friend of Premer,

was the pilot of the twin-engine aircraft -- a PA-32 Cherokee 6 --

and was also killed in the crash, which occurred shortly after the

plane took off at about 3:40 p.m.

Premer worked as a communications specialist at the hospital

before striking out on his own.

Premer took over as the Toshiba Senior Classic's media director in

1997 when the hospital took over as the lead charity. The event is

held each March at the Newport Beach Country Club.

It was then that the Costa Mesa resident and Cal State Fullerton

graduate met Purser.

Premer managed all media relations and was integral in the

planning and marketing of the PGA Champions Tour event. He continued

to write freelance articles for Hoag publications.

Purser and Premer would golf regularly, go to lunch and play

basketball.

"He was as important to the operation as the rest of my team,"

Purser said. "He was part of the planning and implementation and

understood the tournament so well. There was not one person as

intimately involved as Chris. I can't imagine someone replacing him."

Premer, who was single, is survived by his parents, Ted and Sandy

Premer; older brother Tony, a Newport Beach resident; and sister

Connie Smith, a Costa Mesa resident.

Family members described Premer as a sports enthusiast and

passionate writer who had a way with words. Premer and Mumford were

flying to Oakland to attend the first game of the baseball division

series between the Boston Red Sox and Oakland Athletics. Premer was

scheduled to then fly to Kansas City, Mo. for this Sunday's NFL game

between the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs.

"He had a great deal of love and loved working with people," Tony

Premer, 42, said.

The Premer brothers would play basketball once a week at Tony's

house. Chris Premer would be the first one his brother would call.

Tony Premer and his wife, Colleen, have three boys: Nick, Shane

and Max. Chris Premer would often watch the children play soccer,

basketball and baseball.

"I was working on getting Chris set up to coach a team, but

obviously, that won't happen," Tony said. "The kids called him 'Uncle

Chris.'"

Ted and Sandy Premer moved to Dallas nine years ago Wednesday, the

day of the crash.

"It is a numbing experience, almost surreal," Ted Premer said.

"Chris was witty, articulate and had a way with words. He could make

stories and comments jump out at you. He was a joy to have around and

could carry a crowd."

Services are pending, but Ted Premer said the family hopes to have

more details by the end of Monday.

Since Hoag took over as the primary sponsor six years ago,

proceeds from the event have exceeded $5.7 million in cash donations.

In-kind donations have exceeded $7 million. Both figures are the most

for any Champions Tour event.

* BRYCE ALDERTON is a sports writer for the Daily Pilot. He can be

reached (949) 574-4222 or bryce.alderton@latimes.com.

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