Farewell: Longtime islander resident Richard Fertig, 80, passes

Richard Fertig used to dive for coins off the SS Catalina. Courtesy photo

Richard Fertig 1938 to 2019

Richard Fertig passed away in January, a couple weeks short of his 81st birthday. He is survived by his daughters Annette (& Terry) Buis of La Jolla, and Michelle (& Arch) Kirkwood of San Juan Capistrano. He leaves a son, Alex, from London UK, and a stepson John (& Stacey) Beever from Westminster. His son Stephen preceded him in death. Richard had three granddaughters Rachel, Natalie, and Lauren, and two great-granddaughters, Lidia and Suzanna. He had a brother, Bruce (& Carol) Fertig of Avalon, and nieces Melissa Hoefs of Avalon, and Jordan Harvey of Indio.

Richard spent his summers, including the War years, in Avalon at the family house of Ralph and Annetta Fertig on Catalina Ave. He also stayed with his aunt Jerry and uncle Jack McDowell at their house on Sumner. Over the years he returned often with his kids and grandkids.

As a teenager, he worked in Jack’s Steakhouse, now the site of Catalina Yamaha. His lifelong work ethic began with working those long summer hours when the season was compressed into three months. As far as the actual compensation went, he always maintained that he made more money diving for coins twice a day off the SS Catalina.

Anyone wishing to honor Richard’s memory could make a donation in his favorite charity, The Salvation Army.