2012's notable passings

December 28, 2012|By Lauren Williams and Kelly Parker

The last year took many notable people from Newport Beach and Costa Mesa. Whether they were lost to age, illness or tragedy, they are remembered here.

The Aegean sailors: Crew members William Reed Johnson, 57, Theo Mavromatis, 49, Kevin Eric Rudolph, 53, and Joseph Lester Stewart, 64, died in a boat wreck during the Newport to Ensenada Yacht Race on April 28.

Mark David Allen: Died at age 50 on Feb. 1. Allen was arrested in Newport Beach about 520 times and was the subject of a documentary, "Drunk in Public," made by a Newport Beach custody officer.

Orville 'Orv' Amburgey: Died at 78 on Nov. 11. A former police officer and Costa Mesa city councilman, Amburgey was known for his feisty political image.

Mary 'Katherine' Baird Darmer: Died at 47 on Feb. 17. Darmer, a resident of Newport Beach and a Chapman University law professor, was active in the Orange County gay rights movement.


Ken Bauermeister: Died at 84 on Aug. 4. Bauermeister coached basketball and baseball at Newport Harbor High School for 27 years.

Buddy Belshe: Died at age 78 on Dec. 19. Belshe was a veteran lifeguard in Newport Beach serving as a full-time and seasonal lifeguard for 47 years.

William E. Blurock: Died at 90 on June 12. A celebrated architect, Blurock crafted the designs of Segerstrom Hall, Corona del Mar and Estancia high schools and Orange Coast College's library.

Maddy Boutelle: Died at 13 on June 8. A popular eighth-grader at Ensign Intermediate School, Boutelle suffered a brain aneurysm at a friend's birthday party.

Dr. Catherine Campion Ritz: Died at 57 on Sept. 15. A prominent Newport Beach physician, Campion Ritz died after a hit-and-run crash with a truck.

Lee Childress: Died at 95 on Sept. 21. Childress co-founded the MACY Awards, which recognize high school musical theater accomplishments.

Donna Crean: Died at 82 on July 21. An Orange County philanthropist, Crean donated to Chapman University, Hoag Hospital, among other area institutions.

Jules Gage: Died at 90 on Feb. 4. Gage worked as Costa Mesa High School's first athletic director.

Brian Gray: Died at 38 on Dec. 22. A 21-year seasonal lifeguard in Newport Beach, Gray died after falling from his bicycle, but the cause of death has not yet been publicly disclosed.

Don Haidl: Died at 61 on Dec. 18. Haidl worked as assistant sheriff to former Sheriff Mike Carona and became the star witness for prosecutors when Carona was tried on corruption charges.

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