their first home in Costa Mesa in 1948 on East Flower Street.
Their home soon became a hotbed of activism: those who wanted to
see the area become a city met there for brainstorming sessions.
Incorporation supporters triumphed on June 29, 1953. That same year,
Wilson was appointed to the Planning Commission and served as its
chairman. In 1960, he was elected to the City Council, where he
served for 16 years, including three stints as mayor. During his
political life, he spearheaded the building of the first City Hall,
helped bring the Costa Mesa Golf and Country Club to the city and
aided the acquisition of the land for Fairview Park.
The Ritz founder died Jan. 17 at 74 after a heart attack and
stroke. Prager was a culinary genius and philanthropist whose name is
practically synonymous with fine dining. T
he celebrated restaurateur made his mark in Newport Beach, when he
opened the Ritz Restaurant and Garden. Prager escaped from Nazi
Germany with his family when he was a child and lived in Shanghai,
China before coming to the United States. Once here, he worked at the
Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where he honed his talent for cooking. On the
West Coast, he worked at Scandia restaurant and then managed the Five
Crowns in Corona del Mar. Prager found success in many of his
business ventures, opening restaurants in Irvine and Westminster. In
1977, he opened the Ritz in a tiny storefront in Newport Beach.
After its initial success -- credited to the delicious food,
elegant ambience and Prager's incredible attention to detail, a
regular customer convinced him to move to its present location in
The longtime Daily Pilot advertising director worked at the paper
for 21 years, helping to return it to profitability through her
strong character, leadership, creativity and dedication. She died
Feb. 26 at 51.
As the advertising director, Oetting handled people with the ease
of a seasoned psychiatrist -- be it her superiors, those who worked
under her or the advertisers who bought space in the paper, said the