My reason for writing this column is to sadly acknowledge the passing of a dear friend, not only to me personally, but to Catalina Island. Paxton "Packy" Offield died on June 14. I first met him in 1974, when he was 22 years old. I was doing my initial research in the Museum pump room and he brought some of his students from the Toyon School to introduce himself and see what interesting historical finds I had made. He impressed me as very intelligent and inquisitive young man and as long as I knew him he never quit wanting to know what I had discovered. When I started working for the Santa Catalina Island Co. in the 1990s, he was the CEO/president and I loved working for him, because he never put on airs and was able to dish out jokes as well as take them. I don't have room to share all of these inside jokes we had, but they are now sustaining me while facing this loss. He hired me to be the "only one he could imagine" to transport the guests to his restaurant, The Country Club, because I could share so much history with them while being trammed up and back. Packy would often eat there, but usually wearing the same clothes that he had just worn to fish (he loved fishing). When leaving the facility, I would often inform the visitors that they had just had dinner with a Wrigley descendant. They never guessed the right person. Packy was not presumptuous at all and enjoyed being "just one of the guys.” I remember once the bus I was driving broke down right near his home and so, of course, he rushed in and directed traffic until the mechanics finally got there. Where ever he went, you could always hear, "Hi, Packy.”
For those who do not know how he was connected to the Wrigley family, his grandmother, Dorothy, was the first child of William Wrigley, Jr. and Ada "Foote" Wrigley. His father was Wrigley Offield. I sorely miss his boyish smile and his love for life.