Newspaper Archive of
The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
August 10, 2012     The Catalina Islander
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August 10, 2012

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Steve Gilbert Shawver passes away Friends of Avalon resident and decorated'U.S. Army veteran Ste- ven Gilbert Shawver received the sad news last Saturday of his pass- ing at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Long Beach. He had lived in Avalon aboard his 30-foot catamaran, the Trisum; ever since he moved to the Island in 2006. As is so often the case in a town like Avalon, there are many things we never learn about the lives of our friends until after they have passed. In the case of Shawver, we learned about an impressive military career that included a Bronze Star and a U.S. Army Commendation Medal, along with numerous letters and certificates of commendation. We also learned that he led an accomplished professional life af- ter his Army years and worked for some of the biggest names in the hospitality industry, including Hil- ton and Marriott. , But Shawver was probably best known locally as the manager of the Hospital Auxiliary Shop in the Arcade. At least three or four days a week, one could see Steve busily sorting through mountains of do- nations, tending the cashier's desk or arranging merchandise outside of the shop. Additionally, because of his good-natured personality and the mechanical acumen he picked up in the Army, he was hired by the Santa Catalina Island Company in January of 2009 as a part-time pro- jectionist at the Avalon Theatre, a position he held until his death. Born in 1949 at the San Diego Naval Hospital to Ronald Grand- erson and Dorothy Jane Shawver, Steve Shawver joined the Army at a young age and served tours in Vietnam, Korea and West Ger- many. In 1971, he i'eceived his Bronze Star for "Meritorious Achieve- ment" in ground operations against enemy forces and in 1974 received the Army Commendation Medal for rrreritorious service from No- vember 1970 to August 1971. In his civilian life, he served in many high-level management positions around the country in the hotel and restaurant business and received many glowing letters of commendation from his em- ployers. Matching his impressive resum6 was a big, philanthropic heart that drove him to participate in charitable activities as varied as the San Diego Bicycle Transporta- tion Alliance to the Avalon Hu- mane Society. On Tuesday evenings, Shawver would help feed feral cats housed at the animal shelter on Metropole Avenue. At one point, he even ad- opted a young female cat that he named "Sarah" after Sarah Palin. Sarah then began the life of a sea cat, sharing Shawver's catamaran with him. Steve rounded out his civic du- ties with an active membership in Avalon's Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4682. But the revelation of Shawver's serious illness only a few months ago put an end to his varied activi- ties for the community. He spent the final months of his life at the VA hospital in Long Beach and was particularly saddened that he was unable to make it to Avalon to enjoy the Fourth of July activities here. In the early morning hours of Saturday, Aug. 4, it was there at the VA hospital that he passed away. He had no known living fam- ily members (his mother recently passed away) and always said: "My friends are my family." Services, including a VFW me- morial and the sc~ittering of ashes at sea, are pending. Hugh T. (Bud) May 21, 1925 ~July 29, 2012 Lifelong Islander Hugh T. "Bud" Smith passed away peace- fully at his home on Camino Del Monte with his wife Marie and his children at his side. Smith was raised on the Island and attended Avalon Schools from K through 10th-grade. He graduated from Villanova Prep High School in the middle of World War II and im- mediately entered pilot training in the Army Air Corps. After ob- taining his aviator's wings he was assigned instructor duty on the B- 25 Mitchell Bomber until the end of the war. Smith returned to the Island following the war and married Marie Etta Vidulich in December of 1946. He commenced his ca- reer as a pilot for United Air Lines shortly thereafter~ His career as an airline pilot included assignments in Newark, New Jersey; Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado and San Francisco, California. The major- ity of his career was spent flying from Los Angeles, California. During that time he was rated in nine different planes. He retired from UAL after 37 years flying captain on the B747. Smith and Marie resumed liv- ing in Avalon in 1975. Smith served on the City Council for 22 years, was the first elected mayor and served a total of 14 years as mayor. His interest in politics was sparked as an activist modifying the Greenley Condominium proj- ect from a 100-foot structure to a 40-foot building. Smith was the first chairman of the Vehicle Review Board and spent time on the City Planning Commission as well as acting City Manager. He was a charter mem- ber of the Lions Club, a member of the Rotary Club, VFW and Ava- lon Men's Softball League. Smith loved the Island and being among the people of Avalon. After a ca- reer of travel he reminded folks there is no finer place on earth. Smith's funeral Mass was said at. St. Catherine's Catholic Church by his lifelong friend, Bishop Sylves- ter Ryan. His body was interned in the family plot at the Avalon cem- etery. Smith spent the last few years of his life fighting Alzheimer's disease. He was predeceased by his father Hugh F. Smith, mother Dorothy (Heavey) Smith and sister Margaret (Smith) Torbert. Smith leaves behind his spouse Ma- rie o.f 65 years, his five children Thomas, Sheili, Denise, Char- maine, Michael and their spouses, 10 grandsons, one granddaughter, two great granddaughters, one niece and three nephews. He will be missed by all. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made by mail to the Alzheimer's Asso- ciation, 5900 Wilshire Blvd Ste. 1100, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Include the name Hugh T. "Bud" Smith in the memo portion of the check, by phone (323) 930-6264 or online in the name of Hugh T. (Bud) Smith. .Offers S Islander Rates Located within walking distance of the new Catalina Express Terminal in San Pedro and less than one mile from the San Pedro DMV Office. $79/night* (Sun-Wed} (Thu-Sat} . Choice o]'1 King bed or 2 Queens Nov," open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner from n:3oam until lo:oopm. After dinner DJ Thursday through Saturday. Free Parking Free Local Calls Refrigerator Free WiFi Smoke Free Daily Newspaper Pool/lacuzzi Pillow Top Free Continental I Free Cable Mattress Breakfast - Frid yl Augus 10, 26:t2 i 7 THE CATALINA ISLANDER